eBook Sales Grew by 35% in Japan in 2014, Tops $1 Billion for the First Time

5400524593_229d172956_bThe Impress Research Institute announced a new report yesterday with estimates for the Japanese ebook market. The full report won’t be released until the end of next month, but the highlights released today tell us that the Japanese ebook market reached 126.6 billion yen last year (up from an estimated 93.6 billion yen in 2013).

If you run that through a currency converter you’ll find that it is just over a billion dollars (or just under a billion, depending on the markets). The market is expected to continue to grow into 2015; analysts are predicting that the Japanese ebook market will exceed 160 billion yen this year.

In related news, the digital magazine market also saw impressive growth in 2014, almost doubling to an estimated 14.5 billion yen. It is expected to reach 29 billion yen in 2015.

I have no info at this time on estimates for the overall Japanese book market, but we can see that the Japanese ebook market has seen steady growth over the past few years which. It’s nothing like the mad growth of the US ebook market during the early Kindle era, but there is clear evidence that the growth rate increased alter the Kindle Store launched in Japan in late 2012.

According to data from Impress, the market grew by 15.8% in 2012, and it has grown at almost double that rate in 2013 and 2014.


image by Hikosaemon



Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. fjtorres30 June, 2015

    On a per-capita basis that puts them in US territory.
    That makes three big maturing markets.

    1. Nate Hoffelder30 June, 2015

      Except everything is twice (3x?) as expensive three, so that may not be valid. We need to know the total market size before we can judge that.

      But they are getting closer.

      1. fjtorres30 June, 2015

        Tradpub only measures success in turnip blood, you know. ????

  2. […] Marketing Data Lab shows that Japanese readers who liked ebooks (so much so that they had bought a billion dollars in ebooks in 2014) also read a lot of paper […]


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