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Speculation: 'Hulu for Magazines' for Manga?

Man, this would be really cool.


 Kodansha's EVENING manga anthology
 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.

 Yen+
 Yen+
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.

 Shounen GanGan
 Shounen GanGan
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to have appear in my inbox, instead of having to figure out what to do with those giant volumes when they're pretty outdated...what do you guys think?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?
crusader8463on Dec. 8, 2009 at 3:44 p.m.
Why not marvel does something like this already for comic books, i have no clue how well it does for them but i don't see why this couldn't work with the correct marketing. Their best bet would be if they modeled after netflix, where in you buy a monthly subscription and you get access to all the sites content. Or if they wanted more money a way where by your monthly fee buys you X amount of points and each issue you view takes away one point, until you ether buy more points or run out.
JJOR64on Dec. 8, 2009 at 4:21 p.m.
That sounds pretty nifty if they could pull it off for manga.  I'm not sure who much I would pay for a subscribtion, but $20 to $30 a year would be nice.
giaon Dec. 8, 2009 at 4:33 p.m.
@JJOR64: Yeah, I might be willing to pay more than that depending on what manga series were involved and whatnot. And if it was a Japanese mangabon? I'd definitely pay potentially quite a bit.
MoonStormon Dec. 8, 2009 at 8:01 p.m.
It would be nice, but I'm not sure how feasible in really is. Yen+ is 8.99(or more) as is. You don't have to print physical copies but there are other cost. To get this to be profitable you have to be able to get people to buy into is or get enough from advertising. If in dose happen I'm sure it's going to cost more than $20 or $30 is my guess for a yearly subscription would be more like $60 a year. But if I got access to a lot more magazines I would pay.
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