Japanese manga publisher Kondasha and Tokyo-based marketing and incubation company Digital Garage announced on Thursday, February 19, 2015, that both companies have entered a partnership to begin distributing their manga in North American in a digital format.
This joint venture will utilize Kodansha‘s San Francisco-based affiliate company, Kodansha Advanced Media LLC, to bring manga content to North America via internet outlets and smartphone apps. The digital content will also be used to help promote media releases from Kondasha USA.
Kodansha Advanced Media was established on December 4, 2014 with funding from Kodansha USA to handle distribution and management of Japanese digital media in English. In addition to manga, the company will also handle films and events.
As part of the venture, Kodansha will control 0.5% or more stock in Digital Garage, and Digital Garage, in turn, has invested in 19% of Kodansha Advanced Media.
Kondasha and Digital Garage announced that they are also establishing a new company headquartered in Japan that is tentatively titled DK Gate. They look to launch this new company in May of 2015. The purpose of DK Gate aims to invest in and cultivate startup companies related to e-book services, digital rights management, self-publication, and content distribution.
Digital Garage will own 66% of DK Gate, while Kodansha will control the remaining 34%.