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Manga Sales Decreasing in Japan

Date: 2005 September 30 22:12

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Manga sales decreasing in Japan due to rental shops and used sales.

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Anime News Network has reported that manga sales in Japan, both in collected trade paperback format and in anthology magazines such as Shonen Jump, have decreased dramatically since the mid-1990's. The information comes from the 2005 Japanese Publishing Industry Report from the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO).

According to the report, sales of manga in TPB format in 2004 dropped 2.0% to 254.9 billion yen, while sales of anthology magazines have fallen 2.3% to 254.9 billion yen. The total number of sales has declined 20% since 1994. JETRO's numbers for 2004 show that manga sales now account for 37% of publications sold (number of copies sold) and 23% of sales (value of copies sold in yen). The JETRO report also covers international sales, with licensed manga being sold in 20 to 30 foreign countries. The United States leads the amount of international sales, accounting for 35.9% of all Japanese publication exports. Taiwan is the second largest consumer at 8%.

Probably the main reason for the decrease in sales in the increasing number of used manga stores, manga rental shops and manga cafes. Consumers can even buy used copies of manga anthology magazines that are available for sale at a fraction of their original price just days after their first publication. In reaction to this, an amendment that went into effect January 1st, 2005 was made to Japan's copyright law. Called the "lending right", it states that the permission of a manga's author (or his/her agent or publisher) is now required before lending books or magazines to the public for profit.

Since JETRO's report only focuses on 2004, it does not state what kind of effect the new amendment had had or will continue to have on sales for 2005.

Source: Anime News Network
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