Digital Manga Sales Up 29.5% in Japan in 2019
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
The All Japan Magazine and Book Publisher's and Editor's Association (AJPEA) revealed on January 24 its report on the publishing industry in Japan in 2019. The overall publishing market was up 0.2% for the year, earning 1.543 trillion yen (about US$14.12 billion). 2019 was the first year since 2014 (when the report started counting digital sales) that the overall publishing market saw an increase. The print market was down 4.3%, while the digital market was up 23.9%.
The print market sold 1.236 trillion yen (about US$11.31 billion), while the digital publishing market sold 307.2 billion yen (about US$2.81 billion). Compared to 2015 when digital publishing sold 150.2 billion yen, digital publishing sales have doubled. Digital publishing sales made up 19.9% of the market in 2019, whereas it made up 16.1% of the market in 2018.
Print sales fell for the 15th straight year in 2019. However, print manga sales (in compiled book volume form) rose 4% in 2019, bolstered by major publishers rising prices starting in the summer of 2018 and breakout hits like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
Digital sales for manga (including manga magazines) rose 29.5% in 2019, earning 259.3 billion yen (about US$2.37 billion), making up 84.4% of the overall digital publishing market in 2019. The report mentioned the closure of the Mangamura manga piracy website in April 2018 in conjunction with this earnings number.
Other digital magazine sales fell 16.7% to 13 billion yen (about US$119 million), and digital book publishing rose 8.7% to 34.9 billion yen (about US$319 million). The report mentioned that in particular sales of light novel books, business books, and photo collections are growing.
The AJPEA reported last February that combined physical and digital manga sales increased by 1.9% in 2018 to 441.4 billion yen (about US$3.96 billion).