South Korean webtoon completes acquisition of Ebook Initiative Japan
By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson
Also on the Japanese market: London Book Fair names Hiroshi Hayakawa its lifetime achievement winner
Webtoon now cites 82 million users
As Publication prospects As readers know, Webtoon and Wattpad in October of last year were beginning to announce projects under the umbrella of the merged Wattpad Webtoon Studios led by Aron Levitz.
South Korean company Naver, parent company of webtoon and now Wattpad, completed its acquisition of Toronto-based Wattpad in May 2021, creating a kind of parallel platform framework in which Wattpad continues to be a platform. a user-generated form of writing and reading and Webtoon functions like its user-generated counterpart of comics and graphics.
Today (April 1), the Webtoons Japanese subsidiary Line digital border made its own acquisition by buying Japan e-book initiative, an e-book service provider. One goal here is for Webtoon to more firmly cement its presence in the manga-hungry Japanese market.
The deal was announced on March 4, with Webtoon’s Line Corporation becoming 100% owner of Ebook Initiative Japan.
Tokyo-based Ebook Initiative was founded in 2000. It operates not only its e-book effort, but also an online service for printing called Bookfan. Linked via Yahoo Japan, Ebook Japan is said to host more than 800,000 works, including 95% of manga sales.
Last year, Line Manga and Ebook Japan reported combined transaction amounts of 76.8 billion yen ($625.3 million).
The companies’ executives hope the new acquisition will “create new synergies in the Japanese webtoon business, adding new web service strengths and capabilities” to LINE Manga’s mobile technology. The acquisition is expected to allow the companies to simultaneously distribute and promote digital comics and content on both services, and also improve exposure through the Yahoo Japan portal.
In a prepared comment on the news of the completion of the acquisition, Webtoon Founding Global CEO JunKoo Kim said, “Japan is the largest comics market in the world, and this acquisition will energize our activities in the country.
“By bringing Ebook Japan into the Webtoon family, we will be able to expand the digital comic ecosystem for creators and fans across Japan and solidify Line Manga’s growing influence in the incredible industry. Japanese content.”
Webtoon reports that it plans to expand its base of Japanese participants — which it calls an “ecosystem of local creators” — by expanding its presence in the “home of the world’s most influential manga artists.” Webtoon is also expected to add successful Korean digital comics to the Line Manga service, giving these user-creators more exposure and diversifying some of the existing offering on the Japanese service.
There was also an announcement that Webtoon will establish a comic-friendly European division in France.
Recent Webtoon Stats
The most recently reported data provided to Publication prospects for today’s story shows Webtoon featuring:
- 82 million users worldwide
- 14 million users in the United States
- 1.3 million titles read and/or followed by the platform’s international user base
- 10.5 billion page views per month
- An estimated annual gross value of goods of US$900 million, based on 2021 figures
Specifically targeting a Gen Z demographic (currently around the age of 9-24), Webtoon holds a “creative partnership” with DC Comics, a distribution collaboration with Marvel, a series development collaboration with Archie Comics.
Netflix’s adaptation of the webtoon property we are all dead by Joo Dong-geun was produced by JTBC Studios and released in January. That original digital webtoon comic— about a high school zombie attack, of course — ran from 2009 to 2011, reaching millions of views.
The Netflix series also took readers to the original digital comic on webtoonor we are all dead views increased by around 80 times after the Netflix series launched.
The weekly transaction amounts are also said to have increased by 59 times. On the English Webtoon service, weekly views jumped 21 times.
Another Bloody Netflix Adaptation From StudioN And Studio Dragon, The 2020 TV Series sweet home, by Youngchan Hwang and Carnby Kim, has reached No. 1 on Netflix in eight international markets and has been ranked in the Top 10 in more than 40 countries, according to data provided by Wattpad offices in Canada. On Webtoon, the story has garnered 1.3 billion views.
More about Publishing Perspectives on Wattpad is here, more about mergers and acquisitions is here, more about Webtoon is here, more about comics and graphic storytelling content is here. More about us on the Japanese market is here, and more about South Korea is here. More from us on the screen adaptation work is here.
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