Kadokawa Corporation Acquires U.S. Publishing Company J-Novel Club

posted on by Alex Mateo
Kadokawa intends to strengthen e-book, light novel businesses in English market

Media company Kadokawa Corporation announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the U.S. light novel and manga publishing company J-Novel Club.

Kadokawa intends to strengthen its e-book business and drive further expansion of its light novel business in the English market through this acquisition and the reinforcement of J-Novel Club's collaboration with its BookWalker Global online manga and light novel service and GeeXPlus, BookWalker's internet influencer talent agency subsidiary. The company plans to implement J-Novel Club's "Digital First" strategy, releasing more new titles first digitally while complementing and contributing to Yen Press, which Kadokawa also owns jointly with Hachette Book Group.

Kadokawa reorganized its corporate structure last October. The company replaced its previous six departments with 13 different groups, each of which has a "chief officer" executive bearing the title of their respective group. Kadokawa noted that the restructuring would allow the company to achieve a more flat and horizontal corporate structure.

Earlier this year, Kadokawa formed a capital alliance with CyberAgent, Inc. and Sony to strengthen its game and animation businesses. The company's goals are to strengthen the Global Media Mix Strategy to expand Kadokawa's IPs worldwide, and to cooperate with CyberAgent and Sony for "mutual exploitation of each other's business, expertise, and other strengths." Kadokawa will issue CyberAgent and Sony 1,422,475 shares each, which will give each company 1.93% ownership.

Kadokawa launched the English BookWalker Global store and app in November 2014. BookWalker Global features light novels and manga, including simulpubs.

J-Novel Club launched in October 2016. The company releases light novels and manga digitally. Membership to its service gives subscribers access to a new chapter a week for all its series.

Thanks to Juhani Jokela for the news tip.

Source: Kadokawa

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