Japan’s Comic Sales Estimated at a Record ¥677 Billion in 2022Economy Culture
In 2022, the estimated total sales of print and electronic comic books and magazines in Japan increased year-on-year by 0.2% to ¥677 billion, achieving a third consecutive annual high, according to the All Japan Magazine and Book Publishers’ and Editors’ Association and the Research Institute for Publications, two research organizations specializing in the publishing industry. The share of comic sales within the publishing market rose by 1.1 percentage points to 41.5%.
In 2020, sales of comics exceeded ¥600 billion for the first time due to the huge popularity of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba series, in addition to increased demand during the pandemic due to people spending more time at home. A further 10.3% increase was seen in 2021, but sales only rose slightly in 2022.
By type of media, sales of e-comics read on smartphones and other mobile devices increased year-on-year by 8.9% to ¥447.9 billion, while print-based comic books in the tankōbon digest format fell by 16.0% to ¥175.4 billion. Comic magazines sales also dropped by 3.8% to ¥53.7 billion.
Recent trends show that the market scale for print-based comics has remained flat, at around ¥250 billion for combined sales of tankōbon books and magazines. In 1995, the estimated sales of print-based comics stood at ¥335.7 billion and, over the past 25 years, the market has shrunk by around one sixth. In contrast, the size of the e-comics market has expanded 2.5-fold over the past five years.
Weekly Shōnen Jump, a comic anthology published by Shūeisha, had a reported circulation of 6.53 million copies in 1994, but that has fallen to 1.26 million (based on the average number of copies printed in October through December 2022 as announced by the Japan Magazine Publishers Association). At the same time, Shūeisha is actively engaged in the e-comics market, distributing comics through its mobile app and website Shōnen Jump+.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)