Despite publishers’ steadfast reliance on print publication, a new wave of digital media is taking hold. Hiroyuki Nakano, the new editor-in-chief of Shueisha‘s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, confirmed in July that rising digital demand is making up for shrinking print runs. Reports then revealed this past February that digital manga volume sales overtook sales of physical manga volumes for the first time in Japan in 2017.
With digital expansion pinning publishers in a corner, Shonen Jump doesn’t want to be left behind. The company is seeking to expand its digital horizons not just through electronic manga sales, but also through app development. The Shonen Jump editorial department unveiled its second “Shonen Jump App Development Contest” this week.
The contest is calling on developers to create new apps and online services that deal not only with Shonen Jump itself, but also with related manga and characters. The contest announcement states that projects related to “machine learning, big data analysis, application UI, game engine,” and related content are acceptable to submit.
The contest winner will receive 1 million (about US$9,300) yen and a maximum of 50 million (about US$466,00) yen in development funds. In addition, one honorable mention will receive 100,000 yen (about US$930). The application period will close on June 15, and the final winners will be announced in October.
The first “Shonen Jump App Development Contest” was held last year as part of Weekly Shonen Jump‘s 50th anniversary celebration. The tentatively title “Mawashiyomi Jump” service was announced as the winner in September. The service will use AR technology to let people exchange digital manga volumes with each other through use of a real-world map. The service is slated to launch this fall.
Additionally, the Shonen Jump editorial department will hold the “Jump no Mirai 2018” (The Future of Jump 2018) event at the Campfire event space in Shibuya, Tokyo on May 9. The event will feature an explanation of Shonen Jump Rookie, a webcomic portal that allows novice artists to easily upload work; an explanation of the Jump Paint manga-drawing app, another part of the magazine’s 50th anniversary celebration that launched with a manga contest in June; an introduction to “Mawashiyomi Jump”; and a discussion of current Jump projects, including the app development contest, as well as the future of Shonen Jump. Guest speakers will include Nakano, Shueisha‘s third editorial department chief Yoshihisa Heishi, Shonen Jump Plus editor-in-chief Shūhei Hosono, and Shonen Jump Plus‘ Yūta Momiyama. The event’s official website is currently accepting applications for IT representatives, developers, and reporters to attend.