In a session focused on comics and graphic novels during the recently concluded PubliCon 2011 conference by FICCI in New Delhi, one of the panellists had suggested using comics as effective psychological tool for healing during the times of natural calamities. Quite unexpectedly, we heard a testimony of the same during the FIPP World Magazine Congress’ second days’ session on distribution and the digital newsstand.
Tetsuya Okubo, chairman, digital content promotion committee, Japan Magazine Publishers Association informed that when Japan was struck by Tsunami this year, they had to cut their circulation by 10%.
Starting his presentation by talking about the thought behind the digitisation process, Okubu explained, “Books from several parts of the world flew in after Japan was struck by Tsunami early this year, and it acted as a respite for those affected. But soon it started getting difficult to store the books, and we thought to take a digital approach towards this.”
He also pointed out that the publishing market for magazines in Japan has been shrinking for a decade. "On the other hand, several reports suggest that the reading public has not decreased, the library public has not fallen and the book reading public has increased. This meant that the public is merely changing the medium. Around 79.5 % of the people prefer to buy books from bookstores, 54% from convenience stores, 27.5% from Amazon and 23.5% from other online stores,” he added.
“A recent survey showed that most people didn’t like to read magazines frequently. However, a majority of them were interested in reading the digital versions of it. By 2015, the e-book market for new platforms will touch around 190,000 million Yen and the e-book magazines is expected to cross 220,000 million Yen. Therefore we should try to provide digital content at lesser cost, faster pace.”
Adding more interesting numbers to the discussion, Joan Sola, chairman, Zinio International, stated that the average number of transactions per Zinio (ebook reader) user is three. He also said that 69% of purchases made are from new digital readers. He also said that Zinio’s 75% of revenue are from subscriptions purchase, while international sales of Zinio has grown by 50%.
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