Viz iPad Manga Madness

I just received an email announcing Viz Manga Madness Month. To celebrate their 100th volume, Viz has cut the price of all volume 1 iPad manga to $0.99 for the month of March. This is a great deal for titles that are normally $4.99, but always being one to ask a gift horse lots of questions, first I wonder why. Then I wonder why shouldn’t each digital volume be $0.99 every month?

Previously, I’d wondered just how successful iPad exclusive digital manga could be given the probably small overlap between the manga reader and iPad owner demographics. Most iPad owners are older people who probably do not read Viz manga. And lately there have been a number of stories relating the difficulty of maintaining the readership of iPad magazine editions, such as Wired which after a great debut crashed spectacularly.

Viz Manga Madness Month

Viz Manga Madness Month

Not knowing anything else, the $0.99 volume 1 price is clearly intended to attract new readers to Viz’s iPad offerings. Current iPad edition readers would already have the first volume. So Viz is looking to dramatically increase readership and perhaps test the viability of the $0.99 price point.

I think the iPad is a great machine, but unfortunately this manga reader, like many others doesn’t own one. So while I wish Viz all the best in attracting new readers, I still hold out hope that they will release manga for the other popular eBook platforms as well. And of course, Viz does have a number of titles that can be read online, though mostly introductory volumes at this point.

With fewer and fewer bookstores in which to sell printed manga, coupled with a youth skewed demographic that cannot easily buy them online from Amazon, all roads point to digital manga.

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