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Yen Press Publisher: 2020 Was Record Year for Company

posted on by Alex Mateo
Tokyopop CEO: Significant dips for company in Q2, Q3 last year

Yen Press Publisher and Managing Director Kurt Hassler stated in an interview with ICv2 published on Friday that 2020 was a record year for Yen Press. Hassler added that the manga market took a significant hit in the second quarter of 2020 due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The manga market then took a significant upswing last summer, and by fall, the company experienced sales significantly higher than in 2019. Hassler reported that the positive momentum has continued into 2021.

Due to Yen Press' increased sales, the company has been having some difficulty scheduling printer time and stocking books due to printer capacity issues in the publishing industry.

Hassler added that Yen Press' manga output over the last five years has increased since the business was spun off as a joint venture between Kadokawa and Hachette, and he attributed some of that growth to an expansion of Kadokawa content, while continuing to work with other licensors. He commented that the company's relationship with Kadokawa is much closer than it was prior to the joint venture, and they are constantly engaged in discussions to further business and the market.

Tokyopop CEO Stu Levy stated in an interview with ICv2 published last Thursday that the company had significant dips in quarter two and quarter three of last year because Diamond was not able to ship new products during that time. He reported that quarter four went well for them as shops opened back up.

Levy added that Tokyopop's romance brand Love x Love has been doing well, and that the company has found its niche with that brand and Disney manga.

The Vice President Publishing Sales at Viz Media, Kevin Hamric, stated in an interview with ICv2 that Viz Media has seen a 70% growth in the U.S. market for 2020, in line with a 43% increase in overall manga sales in the United States in 2020, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Hamric followed up with ICv2 regarding his comment from a previous interview that sales of first manga volumes and boxsets increased during the pandemic, saying that the company has sold out and had to reprint all of its box sets, particularly those manga that have anime adaptations. He cited Haikyu!! and Jujutsu Kaisen as notable examples, adding that the latter is seeing the same "trajectory" as the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga.

Hamric mentioned that the company has hit many stockouts due to slowdowns in the publishing industry from workplace social distancing rules, and issues with shipping, combined the aforementioned higher sales volume of the past year.

Thanks to Hugh Franklin Jarrett for the news tip.

(Image Source: ICv2)

Source: ICv2 (link 2, Milton Griepp)

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