Kodansha Ltd. launched its new manga distribution service “K MANGA” for Android on Wednesday. The app is also slated to launch for iOS on Wednesday, and is slated to launch for browsers “within days.”
The company confirmed that it launched the app with approximately 400 titles including 60 simulpub titles, with their chapters debuting on K MANGA before on other platforms. The first few chapters of most titles are available for free.
The company also revealed the service’s Ticket- and Point-based credit systems. The service will provide users with a free “Normal Ticket” once a day. Users can use Normal Tickets to read a single chapter of a single “K MANGA original series” per ticket. Users can get 3-4 “Premium Tickets” per day from login bonuses and special campaigns, and can utilize both Normal and Premium Tickets to read about 4-5 chapters of a title per day. Premium Tickets have an expiration date. Note that although K MANGA’s own infographics state that Premium Tickets allow users “to read as many chapters of your favorite series as you want,” Kodansha Ltd. confirmed with ANN that using tickets to read 4-5 chapters per day is more accurate.
Users can alternately purchase points, with every 100 points costing US$1. The service also gives users points for reading the service’s “featured” manga chapter of the day or for watching advertisements. Users can then use the points to purchase access to manga chapters. The point-based price of each chapter varies according to both titles and individual chapters of the manga (K MANGA gave an example where older chapters might cost less points than newer chapters). Users can also choose to use their points to bulk purchase chapters of a series in order to receive a discount.
Kodansha Ltd. stated it will host a digital launch party for its K MANGA service on June 22.
Kodansha released a launch video for the app, and also released two videos that explain the service’s Points and Ticket systems.
The service is launching exclusively in the United States. Launch titles on the platform include:
Other catalog titles on the service include The Seven Deadly Sins, Fire Force, and Chihayafuru. Kodansha stated that its editorial team is managing the service.
Kodansha Ltd. previously told ANN regarding possible future availability outside the U.S. that because it has to “clear a variety of requirements for each country,” such as laws and regulations, it is starting services in the U.S. only. However, the company stated it would like to expand to other countries.
Kodansha Ltd. stated it is fully responsible for the service’s production and distribution, although it added it shares information and discusses the service with Kodansha USA Publishing “on a daily basis.”
Kodansha USA Publishing ended distribution of simulpub chapters of its manga titles on KiraKira Media Inc.’s digital manga service Azuki on January 16. The company removed previous simulpub chapters from Azuki on January 31. Early non-simulpub chapters of some of the series removed, as well as several of Kodansha‘s non-simulpub series remain unaffected on the platform.
The company then removed a number of its manga titles from Crunchyroll on January 31. Kodansha had issued a statement to Crunchyroll, saying that its suspension of simulub updates was due to “changes” in its simulpub distribution program.
Source: Press release
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