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Kadokawa Ventures into Indonesia’s Manga Market with Gramedia Partnership

Aiming to capture Indonesia's youthful audience, Kadokawa joins forces with Gramedia to translate and distribute manga and light novels
k 9468.TSE Blue Chip 150 Games 75 Entertainment 100 Anime 20
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Japanese media conglomerate Kadokawa is setting its sights on Indonesia, announcing a strategic expansion of its manga and light novel distribution in partnership with Indonesia’s leading publisher, Gramedia Asri Media. This move marks Kadokawa’s latest effort to replicate its printed title success experienced in Thailand, leveraging Indonesia’s substantial and youthful demographic.

Kadokawa CEO Takeshi Natsuno highlighted the vast potential of the Indonesian market during a press briefing in Jakarta, emphasizing the collaboration’s goal to translate and release 100 titles suited to the local Muslim-majority audience. The venture will avoid themes inconsistent with local values, focusing instead on content that resonates with Indonesian readers.

This initiative builds on Kadokawa’s proven strategy in Thailand, where online sales and exclusive merchandise bundles significantly boosted profit margins. The company plans to apply similar tactics in Indonesia, utilizing Gramedia’s extensive retail network and a new joint venture website for distribution.

The Indonesian manga market is expected to surge to $138 million by 2028, a significant increase from 2023 figures. Kadokawa aims to leverage this growth to contribute towards its ambitious target of 70 billion yen in overseas sales by the fiscal year ending March 2028.

Facing competition from South Korean webtoons and their digital-first approach, Kadokawa is exploring adaptations and innovations to captivate the Southeast Asian audience further. This includes adopting vertical-scroll formats and expanding its content offering through Gramedia’s channels, aspiring to blend Japanese manga’s rich storytelling with the accessibility and convenience that have propelled webtoons to success in the region.

Despite the promising outlook, challenges such as copyright protection and the importation of foreign works remain hurdles in Indonesia. Kadokawa’s expansion into Indonesia not only signifies its commitment to growing its global footprint but also reflects the evolving landscape of manga and light novel distribution in Southeast Asia.

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