The Japanese Magazine Publishers Associations (JMPA) has released some bad news for print manga: the industry’s three most popular magazines have seen a decline in circulation.
Weekly Shonen Jump saw a 29.49% of the past two years and circulation has dropped below 2 million. Currently, the magazine has a circulation of 1,915,000. This is the highest number compared to competitors, but is a staggering 70.67% drop from their peak circulation of 6.53 million in 1994.
The numbers are just as bad for Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine (which publishes The Seven Deady Sins) and Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday (which publishes Detective Conan). These two publications have the next largest circulations of all manga publications.
Weekly Shonen Magazine‘s circulation fell 32.5% during the past two years: their number is now 964,158 compared to 1,277,500. Weekly Shonen Sunday‘s circulation fell 30.7% during the past two years: their number is now 319,667 compared to 461,250.
Print has long been the dominant medium for weekly manga magazines, publishers are starting to focus on digital publication. Last year, digital manga sales grew 27.1% with print seeing a 7.4% decrease.
Manga publishers are willing to put more effort into digital distribution due to the popularity of mobile devices in Japan. So while the big 3 have seen a decline in print circulation, there is no need for real worry as they adapt to the digital age.