Why it matters: Rakuten Group, Inc.'s plans to launch its digital comic distribution service "R-TOON" mark a new phase in the digitization of entertainment, potentially broadening global access to Japanese comics and fostering a new era of comic culture.
The Key Points:
- Rakuten plans to launch "R-TOON," a digital comic distribution service offering daily free episodes and episode purchase options.
- The company works with Shonengahosha, Straight Edge Inc., and Nitroplus Inc. to co-produce original vertical digital comics.
- A joint comics label created with Shonengahosha aims to serve domestic and international markets, using Rakuten's "Content Central" for intellectual property management.
- Rakuten's existing ecosystem of over 70 services and more than 100 million members are expected to support the new service.
The Big Picture: The launch of R-TOON represents an opportunity for Rakuten and its partners to expand into the digital comics industry, in line with ongoing digitization trends in the entertainment sector.
The venture's success could create a platform for Japanese comics to gain wider international recognition, further accelerating the growth of the digital comics market.