Saturday, July 4
In a move that surprised industry watchers and pundits alike, Kodansha, one of big players in the manga industry released a free online copy of manga magazine simultaneously with sales of same manga magazine on May 22nd 2009. This clearly a desperation move as Kodansha battled online piracy without much success which this factor were blamed for most of slump of domestic market and destruction of US anime/manga industry. In another surprise, the tactic actually increased of said copy by 25 percent which vindicates the seemingly desperate move.
Perhaps the big company should really look into fact that more people are willing to read online and pay a nominal fee for it?
In the same article, perhaps as a general trend indicator, mobile phone comic market, expanded tenfold to 22.9 billion yen over fiscal 2005, thanks to an established charging system.
The bottom line is, manga readers are willing to pay for online copy for convenience sake.