While manga downloads is a growing trend in Japan, I can’t resist bringing it up as a trend we might all take part in.
As can be learned from The Japan Times Online: “In Japan, graphic novels have been a major part of society since the late 1940s, and the art form has become a key export to countries both in Asia and the West. But while printed books are costly to translate and distribute, digital propagation could make manga’s influence practically limitless. Takarajima Wondernet already has fledgling plans to offer its stories to mobile phone users in the United States or around Asia once it finds partners in those countries, and faces relatively low costs to do so. In addition, it will be easier to tweak the digital content to suit foreign users.”
Manga- a popular trend in Japan:
According to Wireless Watch Japan “the marriage between cell-phone technology and manga comic books, which are wildly popular across all ages in Japan, is a natural progression in a nation where people already download music, games and even novels onto their mobiles”.
animenewsnetwork have provided some interesting data concerning the popularity of manga downloads in Japan. In this post they refer to Infoplant (Japanese internet research firm) recent survey conducted on 5,400 mobile internet users (iMode).
91.8% knew of the existence of manga downloads,
Among them 40% had actually downloaded a manga title,
Over 60% of those surveyed reported that they plan to download manga in the future.
Manga – a potential trend in western countries:
Forrester recent report addresses the question of Europe adopting Japan’s mobile trends and suggests a cautionary approach. Taking into account that Japan is not the best predictor for trends in USA and Europe, can we still expect manga’s trend to go western? Alternatively – might this trend change faces to other western animated figures – Disney or other?
More data from Infoplant survey report (translated by Nir Malkit, my good friend)
Sample: Male 37.2%, Female 62.8%.
Survey was conducted on 8-15 of May, 2007
Habits: those who downloaded the manga usually read it:
62.3% in bed
21.4% right after they arrive home
16.8% on the move (to/from school/work)
Types of manga downloaded (answered by those who download)
70.1% of men referred to men/boys Manga
80.5% of women referred to women/girls Manga
Download frequencies (answered by those who download)
11.9% more than 5 times a month
8.3% about 3-4 times a month
7.8% about 1-2 times a month
15.6% about 1 time in 2-3 months
13.2% about 1 time in 6 months
33.2% less than 1 time in 6 months