The Consequence of the Decline of Manga Magazine in Japan?

In past years the manga magazine market in Japan has experienced a rapid decline, what will be the consequence of this trend? After watching Naoki Urasawa's talk on NHK's "Professional: Styles of Work" series, the author of the Japanese manga blog Mandana Tsushin Blog (Manga Bookshelf Transmissions) was surprise by Urasawa's nervous attitude toward fans' reaction at the sudden ending of 20th Century Boy, and published an article on the current manga magazine scene, how it affects a magazine's serializations, and what the future may hold for the market. Below a portion of the article that takes a look at the mange magazine scene in Japan:

Future of Manga Magazines

Most manga are serialized in magazines, manga magazines are the basis of Japan's manga culture. However, with the sales of manga magazines declining, it has become difficult for both the mangaka and the publishers to make a profit from manga magazines. Most manga magazines either break even or result in deficit, right now even selling tankoubon makes little profit for the mangaka and the publishers. Manga magazine is cheap, and payments for the manuscript are insufficient. This is a problem of the manga industry that individual publishers won't be able to resolved by themselves.

Haruyuki Nakano said in his book The Study of Manga Industries that "Manga magazines need to be more active." Kentaro Takekuma suggested the possibility of publishing manga as tankoubon directly. 

The future of weekly manga magazines doesn't look good. Already the release schedules of Shojo manga magazines are shifting from weekly to bi-weekly, so who can guarantee the future of Shonen and Seinen manga magazines? Weekly Shonen Magazine and Weekly Shonen Sunday were originally established during the "weekly manga magazine" boom, when there were no demand for weekly manga magazines.

On the other hand, only weekly manga magazines can promote manga titles and turn them into popular series. If the weekly manga magazines are gone, titles such as Star of the Giants, Tomorrow's Joe, Dragon Ball and 20th Century Boys will never appear again. Something needs to be done, perhaps it's possible for great titles like Takashi Sekiya's Stop Nii-chan to be serialized on monthly magazines, or maybe some new idea will come from the direct-tankoubon-publishing idea.

Translated by T. Ohara