A Collaboration Between Industries


In a time of rising concerns over the falling sales of print magazines, there is a parallel rise of publishers strengthening cross-industry collaborations in the form of product development, originating from editor’s proposals. Takarajimasha and Shogakugan stand out as two major success stories.

In 2004, Takarajimasha began to add supplemental products to all of their fashion magazines, being one of the first companies to do so. In addition, “books with brand products attached” have been published through collaborations with various companies. Other notable collaborations can be seen with Takarajimasha’s Nordic design and lifestyle brand kippis, which originally distributed its products under Takarajimasha, but branched out into licensing in 2015 and has now collaborated with companies such as Lion, Maruha Nichiro, Welcia, and Dotour.

Shogakukan’s outdoor magazine BE-PAL, now in its 38th year of publication, has seen great success in its sales. The reason for its popularity lies in the recent revival of interest in camping, and original supplemental products created as part of collaborations with outdoor goods makers. Ideas for supplemental products are decided after discussions between editors and companies. “Readers are drawn to supplemental products that aren't normally available,” states Editor in Chief Takuya Sawaki. “Our company’s collaborations have the merit of raising brand awareness.”

It may be that within the plans for supplemental products and product development that go beyond the traditional framework of books and magazines, brought to life by the hard work of editors fostering networks and editing skills, lies the key to survival for the publishing industry.