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Digital Manga Volume Sales Overtake Print Manga Volume Sales in Japan for 1st Time

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Physical sales down 14%, digital sales up 17%

Reports by both The Huffington Post on Monday and the NHK World on Tuesday noted that annual sales of digital manga volume sales overtook sales of physical manga volumes for the first time in 2017. The reports, citing the Research Institute for Publications, noted that total sales of physical compiled manga book volumes were 166.6 billion yen (about US$1.56 billion) — down 14.4% compared to the previous year. This drop is the highest since sales were first tabulated in 1978. Meanwhile, digital volume sales rose to 171.1 billion yen (about US$1.6 billion) — up 17% compared to the previous year. These figures do not include magazine sales.

The report stated that one of the reasons for the drop is due to some best-selling series ending, with only few titles to replace them. The report also cited analysts that claim that the number of people buying digital copies has increased in part due to discount campaigns, and that catalog titles are selling well digitally.

Combined print and digital sales are down 0.9% in 2017 compared to the previous year. The report noted that illegal uploads of manga on the Internet have had a negative effect on the industry. The growth rate for digital comics also shrunk last year.

The All Japan Magazine and Book Publisher's and Editor's Association (AJPEA) previously stated last December in its report of physical manga sales from January to November 2017 have decreased by 12% over the same period last year.

Sources: NHK World, The Huffington Post (安藤健二)

Thanks to Mohawk52 for the news tip.

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