Last month Archie Comics announced that they were going day-and-date digital unlimited streaming with their comic book series. Which means they will be made available to ComiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime for no additional cost on the day of release. Traditionally that only happens after six months of publication – though that has been challenged of late after the shutdown. And now a far larger publisher, Kodansha, has joined in.
Kodansha Comics will release new chapters of ongoing manga like Attack on Titan, Edens Zero, The Ghost in the Shell: The Human Algorithm, and more, for unlimited streaming, the same day the titles are released in Japan. Manga fans can now read even more Kodansha Comics series at no additional cost with comiXologyUnlimited.
Members of comiXology Unlimited can currently access over 25,000 comics, graphic novels and manga for $5.99 a month with a 30-day free trial at comixology.com/unlimited. Marvel Comics has their own service with Marvel Unlimited, and DC Comics with a more geographically-restrained DC Universe app.
The big question will be, who will follow these examples? Archie Comics was one thing, but Kodansha are a much bigger deal in the marketplace.
Established in New York in 2008, Kodansha USA Publishing is a subsidiary of Kodansha, Japan's largest publisher. Its manga imprint is Kodansha Comics, which began by releasing Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira and Shirow Masamune's The Ghost in the Shell. Today, thanks to hits like Attack on Titan, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal Edition, Noragami, and Fairy Tale, it is now the No. 2 manga publisher in the US, behind Viz. Vertical, which publishes manga titles like Chi's Sweet Home and Blame!, as well as the popular Monogatari novel series, is also an imprint of Kodansha USA Publishing. Both Kodansha Comics and Vertical are distributed by Penguin Random House Publisher Services.