The 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