Kodansha's EVENING manga anthology
I know a lot of manga fans-- the ones who really get to know the release format in Japan and the like --talk about how cool it would be if we could do something along those lines in the US. Unfortunately, between the costs of shipping around the country and the much smaller market, it's just hard to make it feasible.
I just saw this article on DownloadSquad.com
about a project that magazine publishers are working on together: a "Hulu for magazines." The basic idea being that it will deliver magazines (and their advertising) to your eReader, mobile device, and/or computer, while keeping the print layouts. Currently Conde Nast (Vogue), Hearst (Cosmo), Meredith (Better Homes and Gardens), News Corp. (The Wall Street Journal), and Time Inc. (TIME) have all joined together to create the program.
Which brings me to the part that makes this relevant to you guys: what if manga publishers used this to create their own low-cost magazines? It would take a bit of effort, but basically the translated chapters, which are already digital, get collected together and the issues could be sold at probably a higher rate than your average magazine, since there may be less advertising. This could even be feasible for a return of VIZ Media's Shojo Beat-- the cost of printing the mag wasn't made up for by its circulation and its worth as a marketing tool, apparently, but with the considerably lower cost of bringing it online, perhaps it would be doable.
To take this to "pipe dream" level, Japanese publishers could even hire or contract translators and release their own magazines here, directly, without the middle man. God, I would love to get Hakusensha's LaLa, Square-Enix's Shounen GanGan, and/or Kodansha's Afternoon and/or Evening out here. Mmm...delicious.
Well, I don't know that any of this is happening, but it sure would be cool. Yen+ would be great to have appear in my inbox, instead of having to figure out what to do with those giant volumes when they're pretty outdated...what do you guys think? Would you potentially get in on something like this? How much would you pay for a magazine subscription?