Media news website ICv2 recently reported that US manga sales have doubled across retailers tracked by NPD BookScan in 2021. Accounts tracked by NPD listed 24.4 million manga units sold in 2021. , which represents about 15 million more units sold -a growth rate of 160%- compared to the previous year. On the other hand, the ICv2 warns that there is a classification problem affecting the My Hero Academia manga, and it is possible that the actual number of manga units sold is higher in both years.
The Vice President of Editorial Sales for Viz Media, Kevin Hamric, commented to ICv2 in an interview that the company is experiencing more sales so far this year than in the same period of 2021. However, the pace of growth is slower compared to last year. Thus, he added that manga accounted for 25% of the overall growth of the US book industry last year. Hence, retail bookstores like Books a Million and Barnes and Noble are devoting more space to manga. Hamric stated that he expects the supply chain problems to continue for the company through the rest of this calendar year, at least.
The COVID-19 contingency, as a key factor in the demand for printed sleeves
ICv2 previously reported that North American print manga sales reached an all-time high in the year 2020, according to its print manga sales analysis based on information from NPD Bookscan, Diamond Comic Distributors, Comic Hub, and other sources. The North American manga market stood below $250 million in 2020. So the overall North American comic book market hit a new high of $1.28 billion in 2020..
Waitlist manga and slipcases were a major factor in the year’s sales, and ICv2 attributed that demand to the increase in anime streaming during the COVID-19 contingency, which led to an increase in manga purchases.. This new peak surpassed the previous record, which was in 2007. After that year, the industry suffered a sharp decline between 2008 and 2012 due to various factors, such as the global financial crisis, the Borders bookstore bankruptcy, the decline of anime on North American television and a smaller list of unaired anime in North America.
Additionally, ICv2 noted in April 2021 that NPD Bookscan’s report for the first quarter of 2021 showed a 29% increase in overall print book sales in the United States, the highest print book sales volume in a first quarter since NPD Bookscan began tracking book sales in 2004. In particular, the report showed great growth in the category of graphic novels (4 million more than in the first quarter of 2020), and manga accounted for 80% of the growth in that category.
Vice President of Sales Hamric stated in an interview with ICv2 that Viz Media was seeing 70% growth in the US market by 2020, in line with a 43% increase in overall US manga sales in 2020, to despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hamric told ICv2 about the increase in sales of early manga volumes and sleeves during the pandemic, explaining that the company has sold out and had to reprint all of its sleeves, especially in a previous interview. those of the manga that have anime adaptations. quoted Haikyu! and Jujutsu Kaisen as examples of growth, adding that the latter is having the same success as Kimetsu no Yaiba..
Lastly, Yen Press publisher and CEO Kurt Hassler also stated in an interview with ICv2 in March that 2020 was a record year for Yen Press.
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