Anime & Manga News

15% Drop of Manga Sales in the US

by dtshyk
Jul 30, 2011 5:27 AM | 90 Comments
According to Anime!Anime!, ICv2 announced the annual report of the publishing in the US. The sales of Japanese manga were 120 million dollars, down 15% from the year earlier. The drop of manga sales was significantly larger than the 7% decrease of the whole visual novel sales in the US.

Chart: Japanese Manga Sales in the US from 2006 - 2011 (the number in 2011 is an estimation)


ICv2 said the sales of Japanese manga have been approaching a floor and the estimated sales in 2011 will be 90% of 2010's. The digital comic sales in the US have grown six - eight fold in 2010, but the size of the market is still around 6 - 8 million dollars. Due to the small unit price and the large prior investments, the digital comic business has made little profits so far.

Four major topics of US Manga Market
1. VIZ Media kept the top position.
2. Tokyopop dropped out.
3. Kodansha USA made inroads.
4. Yen Press climbed to the second position.

Source: Anime!Anime!

20 of 90 Comments Recent Comments

Black_Rose1809 said:
Leon-Gun said:
Maora said:
Black_Rose1809 said:
What can help is that they lower the prices of the mangas. That's one of the main reasons why people read scans online. It could prob help them a bit. I usually buy my manga in Half price book stores, I get them for 5 bucks. If they really want to sell them, is to bring out manga that is new and some of the old ones and sell them for half the price. And I bet you that a lot of people would buy them then.
But the company that releases it wont get any profit from buying it from HPB. :B Only the store and the previous owner earn cash from that. Second hand manga doesn't count as a manga sale.
Just as you say. Actually, if they would support digital distribution fully they could considerably up their range of potential buyers and lower costs.


but it would be harder for people if they don't have any mobile anything that can support digital books.
Not necessarily. You merely need the proper reading app. Besides, if they distrbuted the e-book in a standardized format all you'd need is a computer. People have been duped into believing you need things like Kindle or the like merely because those tablets use their own applications to read the books they sell on their digital stores, which is merely a ploy to get complete monopoly over consumers. And even that is dubious seeing as how they provide you the needed application for free if you search around their websites.

Aug 15, 2011 5:34 AM by Leon-Gun

Leon-Gun said:
Maora said:
Black_Rose1809 said:
What can help is that they lower the prices of the mangas. That's one of the main reasons why people read scans online. It could prob help them a bit. I usually buy my manga in Half price book stores, I get them for 5 bucks. If they really want to sell them, is to bring out manga that is new and some of the old ones and sell them for half the price. And I bet you that a lot of people would buy them then.
But the company that releases it wont get any profit from buying it from HPB. :B Only the store and the previous owner earn cash from that. Second hand manga doesn't count as a manga sale.
Just as you say. Actually, if they would support digital distribution fully they could considerably up their range of potential buyers and lower costs.


but it would be harder for people if they don't have any mobile anything that can support digital books.

Aug 14, 2011 8:52 PM by Black_Rose1809

t
Maora said:
Black_Rose1809 said:
What can help is that they lower the prices of the mangas. That's one of the main reasons why people read scans online. It could prob help them a bit. I usually buy my manga in Half price book stores, I get them for 5 bucks. If they really want to sell them, is to bring out manga that is new and some of the old ones and sell them for half the price. And I bet you that a lot of people would buy them then.
But the company that releases it wont get any profit from buying it from HPB. :B Only the store and the previous owner earn cash from that. Second hand manga doesn't count as a manga sale.


yeah I know that, but I'm saying that to sell them like that. Instead of 9.99, at least at 4.99. At any store.

Aug 14, 2011 8:51 PM by Black_Rose1809

I've sure been buying a lot of manga recently.
SamRavster said:
Not that surprising, really. With people being more frugal nowadays, plus the fact that many manga are available online, it isn't that hard to see that sales have slumped.

Yeah, it's mostly the economy.

Aug 3, 2011 4:51 PM by ukonkivi

The prices keep going up way too fast while spending money in the US is going donw.

If they were priced maybe $5-10 they might be worth it...
I actually look for manga every time I go to the book store, but they're far too much.
I did manage to finally finish off my Rurouni Kenshin collection... I thought of getting Yotsubato... but its almost 2x as expensive for a normal volume of that compared to price of a Kenshin volume =/

Aug 3, 2011 6:56 AM by Bluesnow

Maora said:
Black_Rose1809 said:
What can help is that they lower the prices of the mangas. That's one of the main reasons why people read scans online. It could prob help them a bit. I usually buy my manga in Half price book stores, I get them for 5 bucks. If they really want to sell them, is to bring out manga that is new and some of the old ones and sell them for half the price. And I bet you that a lot of people would buy them then.
But the company that releases it wont get any profit from buying it from HPB. :B Only the store and the previous owner earn cash from that. Second hand manga doesn't count as a manga sale.
Just as you say. Actually, if they would support digital distribution fully they could considerably up their range of potential buyers and lower costs.

Aug 1, 2011 1:29 PM by Leon-Gun

ninjacowboy said:
So this is my first time posting on the forums, thus making me feel really awkward, but I wanted to weigh in on this.

It's obvious how on-line piracy has complicated the manga market, especially in the U.S., but I was curious to know if another factor has to do with the aging of the audience that created manga boom. I'm with a lot of other people on here when I say I much rather buy something I can hold and read in my hands. But.. hell, I've got bills to pay now! I want to blow all my money on manga like I used to, but I can't. I just wonder if a lot of the people that were buying up tons of manga five years ago are in the same position now?

I know I definitely am. Manga is pretty expensive..with everything going digital, it's a lot easier to just read/download scans nowadays.

Aug 1, 2011 7:31 AM by barelyalive

Black_Rose1809 said:
What can help is that they lower the prices of the mangas. That's one of the main reasons why people read scans online. It could prob help them a bit. I usually buy my manga in Half price book stores, I get them for 5 bucks. If they really want to sell them, is to bring out manga that is new and some of the old ones and sell them for half the price. And I bet you that a lot of people would buy them then.
But the company that releases it wont get any profit from buying it from HPB. :B Only the store and the previous owner earn cash from that. Second hand manga doesn't count as a manga sale.

Aug 1, 2011 1:23 AM by Maora

What can help is that they lower the prices of the mangas. That's one of the main reasons why people read scans online. It could prob help them a bit. I usually buy my manga in Half price book stores, I get them for 5 bucks. If they really want to sell them, is to bring out manga that is new and some of the old ones and sell them for half the price. And I bet you that a lot of people would buy them then.

Jul 31, 2011 11:29 PM by Black_Rose1809

This really does suck :( and I rather have the book in my hand then stare at the computer all day but sadly I can`t spend on manga like I use to when there are other things that are more important that are where my money is supposed to be going. I really regret not buying vol 1-3 of Karakuri Odette though since Tokyopop now officially shut down >.<

Jul 31, 2011 10:51 PM by Minei

So this is my first time posting on the forums, thus making me feel really awkward, but I wanted to weigh in on this.

It's obvious how on-line piracy has complicated the manga market, especially in the U.S., but I was curious to know if another factor has to do with the aging of the audience that created manga boom. I'm with a lot of other people on here when I say I much rather buy something I can hold and read in my hands. But.. hell, I've got bills to pay now! I want to blow all my money on manga like I used to, but I can't. I just wonder if a lot of the people that were buying up tons of manga five years ago are in the same position now?

Jul 31, 2011 9:53 PM by ninjacowboy

Totally not surprised at this at all. I, like some others, still enjoy having the physical copy of a book in my hands. It's pretty sad that everything's going digital, but hey, what can you do?

Is it bad to think that the sales chart is actually kinda comical? I mean, it perfectly describes what everyone did when manga got too expensive. (Yes, $11.99 for manga is not cheap.) This chart makes it so obvious that everyone ditched the bookstores and went to the land of OneManga and MangaFox to read all of their favorite manga. FOR FREE. Now, no one has to worry about sacrificing much needed money for a small volume of a long ass series. Not to mention that there are more chapters and series that we all have access to. For no charge or membership, of course. It was really only a matter of time before it would start really affecting the industry as a whole. I say now, companies have to go digital and make every move a smart one, because they can't really afford to make too many mistakes anymore. (Like, licensing a series nobody cares about.)

taj69 said:
The system is just not set up well in the United States. In all the major Asian countries, you have manga cafes, which lets you pay a membership so you can read unlimited amount and you can hang out at the cafe, surf online, etc. Even order drinks and what not. Then theres manga stores that let you rent stuff to take home, like a manga blockbusters. And finally, manga in japan costs 5-6$. You need to completely incorporate american comics and make a huge gamble, like a comics cafe that catered to both american and japanese comics/manga, or you just have to flat out, lower the prices and go digital to save costs. Either way, the only demographics that are paying for manga right now are shonen/shojo (7-13 year olds) who get their parents to buy them. Thats why noone is going to license titles geared towards older audiences.

Secondly, you have brainwash young, as in you ask any grade schooler right now, and theyll say cartoons suck and anime is cool. You ask any 30 year old and theyll say the simpsons is cool, anime is weird. Its going to take at least another 10 years before manga/anime becomes an accepted norm.

I have to agree with this in many ways, but trying to shift the market towards that is a huge risk in itself. Sure, it'd be pretty damn great if I could go to a manga cafe and stuff, but it's just such a different concept over here. We don't even have cafes for regular books. The closest possible thing to that is... a library. But the thing is, everyone here is so "get in, get out." We want everything to be as convenient to our busy lifestyles as we can. That's why things like the Kindle and the iPhone are so damn popular and kill book sales. Why go out of your way to get a book when you can download the e-book in minutes and take it everywhere with several other e-books? People no longer see a point when they have access to everything in the palm of their hand. Literally.
The idea of a manga cafe is great, but I just don't think it'll fly here. People are too busy with their E-readers and MangaFox and whatnot.

Jul 31, 2011 8:27 PM by NanoZero

I don't know why people can't get manga now that Borders is closed. Perhaps its only where I live, but Books-a-Million carries a bunch of manga (as does the online store). But back on topic, I only read non-licensed manga (like Ippo), except when I can find some licensed one's for free (my high school library actually carries some good manga like Mushi-shi). Because let's face it, the stuff's expensive. I'm only fifteen and don't have job yet, so I'm not going to spend ten bucks on something I can finish in at least a few hours. In this world, its just not worth it.

Kewee said:
Hopefully it will rise, HOPEFULLY.

Lol, I like that. You actually gave me some hope... a silver lining.
Off topic, you're signature, where it says, "Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis" , it more literally translates to "Not for me, not for you, but for us" (I took Latin)

Jul 31, 2011 7:19 PM by godslittledude

Jigero said:
RyanSaotome said:
I think e-readers might be doing more damage to the book industry piracy wise then its helping.


I doubt this highly, seeing has some one stupid enough to buy a e-reader probably couldn't even manage to use google to find sites to download manga.
That's rather judgmental of you. How about looking at the pros and cons of e-readers before just harshly judging it's users as retards.

Jul 31, 2011 7:05 PM by Leon-Gun

"Why does this not surprise me?" Im quoting a lot of people already.

Jul 31, 2011 6:21 PM by Tacelohssa

The system is just not set up well in the United States. In all the major Asian countries, you have manga cafes, which lets you pay a membership so you can read unlimited amount and you can hang out at the cafe, surf online, etc. Even order drinks and what not. Then theres manga stores that let you rent stuff to take home, like a manga blockbusters. And finally, manga in japan costs 5-6$. You need to completely incorporate american comics and make a huge gamble, like a comics cafe that catered to both american and japanese comics/manga, or you just have to flat out, lower the prices and go digital to save costs. Either way, the only demographics that are paying for manga right now are shonen/shojo (7-13 year olds) who get their parents to buy them. Thats why noone is going to license titles geared towards older audiences.

Secondly, you have brainwash young, as in you ask any grade schooler right now, and theyll say cartoons suck and anime is cool. You ask any 30 year old and theyll say the simpsons is cool, anime is weird. Its going to take at least another 10 years before manga/anime becomes an accepted norm.

Jul 31, 2011 4:44 PM by taj69

I like having physical copies of my books and manga, but the fact that I do not have a permanent home means that I have to go digital if I want to have access to my reading material. Because of that, I bought a kindle, and it's been one of the best purchases I've ever made. I can now carry all my books AND manga in my pocket.

Jul 31, 2011 3:50 PM by JNSky

I really wanna buy more manga's but the problem is:
- lack of space in my room since I have OVER 300 volumes of manga!
- Money - I need it for food and gas! Well, gas has been lowering just a tad bit yet they're still pricy as of today.

Jul 31, 2011 3:39 PM by animelly

Kinda not really surprised since anime/manga is a niche market here in the US. Still sad though I just hope Yen Press stays strong since they have a couple titles I love dearly (like Pandora Hearts) even though they are $11.99 a volume Dx

Edit: Now celebrating my 1,000 post.

Jul 31, 2011 3:27 PM by Roloko

I worry that if I start purchasing a manga series, if it would actually be completely published or not.

(reference to Eiken [even though its stupid I was entertained])

Jul 31, 2011 3:19 PM by Lvhina