In a major digital distribution move for the manga category, U.S. manga publisher Viz Media and digital comics marketplace Comixology announced an agreement that will bring Viz’s manga line to the Comixology platform in North America. For the launch Viz will make more than 500 volumes of its most popular series available for purchase and download from Comixology.
The new North American digital deal follows an agreement reached last year between Viz Media Europe, Kaze, Viz’s French language subsidiary, and Comixology, to make French language manga content available through the Comixology platform. The new deal will make popular Viz manga series such as Naruto, One Piece, Hikaru No Go, Nana and Bakuman available for purchase in North America via Comixology in a fixed digital format designed to allow manga fans to read the digital comics in the right to left format that they were designed to be read in in Japan. More Viz series will be added in the coming months.
Comixology CEO David Steinberger, said the “The addition of Viz Media today marks a huge increase in our manga offerings and I, for one, cannot wait to dive into today’s releases and the many thousands yet to come.”
Viz Media also offers its manga via its own smartphone and tablet storefront apps as well as through the website, Vizmanga.com. But offering its titles via Comixology, recently acquired by Amazon.com and the dominant marketplace for digital comics, will present Viz manga to the biggest market for digital comics. Although Comixology offers more than 50,000 different comics from more than 75 different publishers, it has lacked significant selection of the most popular manga titles.
Viz executive v-p Gagan Singh, said, “We’re excited to bring our great catalog of Viz Media titles to Comixology. It is the premier destination for digital comics and we’re happy to help make them the destination for manga. We can’t wait for manga fans to experience Comixology’s high resolution Manga Fixed Format developed especially for this content.”