RIP OneManga = decreased market

25 07 2010


Any of you manga fans out there will cry upon this news: OneManga is closing down. Yes, the website where we read all our weekly shounen jump is closing down. Boohoo sad story…OneManga got too big for its own good. After ranking #935 on 1000 most visited websites, manga publishers recently agreed and really took a stance against manga scanlation websites. However, they made a very bad move.

I personally think that websites such as OneManga are actually beneficial for the market. In  a sense, these websites act as a marketing program. It is practically free advertisement. It is how authors can get worldwide recognition. It is after all, distributed on the World Wide Web (acronym www. Sounds familiar? It’s that thing on your browser address bar). In the forums especially, “each and every individual that is a customer can become one more marketing agent in the infinite revolving loop” just like P2P programs. “Viral marketing at its best.”

But then you will say “But people who read on OneManga should be people who bought the manga. It is unfair for the authors!” Well think about it this way. Imagine Bob. Imagine he is an ordinary high school student, and as a student, he doesn’t have lots of money. Psychologically speaking , he probably wouldn’t want to spend $10 on a manga, which contents are unknown. The uncertainty concerning his perception of the manga, whether he like it or not (assuming it is a new manga for Bob), is preventing him from buying the manga. OneManga provides the opportunity for people who have limited money to actually check out the content of a manga before they decide to buy it. If people like the manga series after reading it on OneManga, chances are that they are going to buy it anyway. Even a cheap bastard like me buys stuff. Unless of course, if you are a more hard-core cheap bastard than me, then I got nothing to say to that.

Manga published in certain countries are very limited. Back when I was in Indonesia, my choice of manga was basically what they have in bookstores. Back then, they never published Bleach, so I never knew about Bleach, which is one of the most famous manga out there. Only after accessing websites such as OneManga that I am able to discover manga series beyond Gramedia. First thing I did when I moved to Singapore? Bought Bleach. Similarly for Bob who lives in, lets say, Papua New Guinea, he doesn’t have to rely on bookstore collections. He can buy online (not sure if internet is actually available there).

(Quotes above are taken from here, which is somewhat relevant to the topic talked about in this post).

Please give me your stance on this matter by leaving a comment. If you disagree, please flame me, tell your friends to flame me, and I will do my best to revise my argument. If you agree, please tell me so. I want to know how many people actually have the same mindset.




8 responses

25 07 2010

I can say that without OneManga, I would not know of Mirai Nikki, Mysterious Girlfriend X, or Asu no Yoichi. I wouldn’t be picking up the English releases if OneManga hadn’t informed me of them.

26 07 2010

thanks for agreeing. there’s no stopping online manga distribution anyway.

26 07 2010

Life is over…..or I’ll just download from the scanlators directly….the tricky part is finding out who does what manga..,..there’s so many.

26 07 2010

if you go to mangatraders, they have quite a comprehensive list.
i always download volumes from there.

26 07 2010

Obviously, you are a pretty passionate manga fan if you even write about it in your blog. So you buy some, while reading a lot more for free. and the money you spend on those few volumes compensates for the losses the industry makes because you read other manga for free. (that’s also why it’s so expensive in the first place).
But One Manga has/had 4.2 million unique visitors per month. The majority clearly doesn’t buy a thing, otherwise the manga industry wouldn’t be in such a lousy state.
If freeloaders convince others to freeload, there is just an increase of freeloaders. that’s just stupid advertising. One Manga had a positive effect, but the negative was much greater. Hopefully that OpenManga project can fill the gap on a more legal way.

27 07 2010

“otherwise the manga industry wouldn’t be in such a lousy state”
actually the reason manga industry is in such a bad shape is:
1. manga artists are under appreciated compared to western artists. ppl who work for like pixar get paid bajillion times more than manga artists
2. japan’s economy is bad in general…

“thats just stupid advertising”
but Bob wouldn’t buy manga in the first place of he was never exposed to OneManga. keep in mind that most otaku are born online. it is then they start their spending spree; not just necessarily on manga, but also anime, figurines, clothes, etc etc.

I don’t quite yet know how OpenManga works, but the problem will probably market competition. there are literally hundreds of other websites to read manga for free. why would ppl pay? it is impossible to close down every single manga website…

10 09 2010

I, more-or-less, completely agree with your sentiments. To be honest I don’t read a whole lot of manga online anyway. What I would read is typically limited to stuff unpublished in the UK and the odd chapter of something as a sample.

What I do think it’s far more complicated than saying that sales are down because of piracy. Focusing on anime for a sec I’ve bought far more anime than I ever watched online, yet if I hadn’t started off online I wouldn’t have progressed to buying DVDs. Years ago I read a book on science fiction for university, which included an essay on the psychological themes of Evangelion. For ages after I wanted to watch the show but could not find the DVDs at a price that I would have considered reasonable having not seen it before. Eventually I found myself streaming the show online. Several weeks later I owned the DVDs and found myself checking out more anime releases as a result. Not to mention the money I’ve dropped on other stuff.

23 10 2010
Delicious Manga

There’s always to read manga oline

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