News Reporting

Amazon Japan’s Kindle Unlimited Service Removes 1,000 Kodansha, 550 Kobunsha Titles


kodansha-logo-001-20161009Do you want to upset Japan’s largest publisher? Because that is how you upset Japan’s largest publisher!

On October 3, Kodansha lodged a formal complaint against online retailer Amazon’s Japanese branch. According to the publisher, Amazon had removed over 1,000 Kodansha titles from its Kindle Unlimited service, which allows subscribers instant access to a selection of e-books.

Publisher Kobunsha filed a similar complaint, arguing that 550 of their titles were removed from Kindle Unlimited.

Kodansha’s complaint claims that Amazon made a “one-sided decision” to remove the titles, without informing the publisher. Kodansha asked that Amazon recosider their decision to pull the titles, which left the service on September 30.

amazon-logo-001-20161009Kindle Unlimited launched in Japan on August 3. The service currently boasts over 1.2 million foreign titles, as well as 120,000 Japanese publications. According to Japan Times, Amazon pays publishers a regular fee, as well as a year-end incentive for each user who reads more tha 10% of a publication.

Japan Times reports that popular magazines, manga, and photo collections began to disappear from Kindle Unlimited by mid-August. The publication continued, stating that “Amazon told publishers that some titles saw more-than-expected demand and its budget had run out.”

According to the source, manga, magazines, and photo collections began disappearing from the service in mid-August. The Japan Times additionally cited a publishing industry source that stated Amazon told the publishers its budget ran out after some titles saw demand beyond what Amazon expected.

Sources: Kodansha, Japan Times

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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