JIN-519 -- Japanese Media Companies Dive Into The Digital Deep End

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J@pan Inc Newsletter
The 'JIN' J@pan Inc Newsletter
A weekly opinion piece on social, economic and political trends in Japan.
Issue No. 519 Wednesday February 10, 2010, Tokyo

Earlier this month NHK launched its new NHK World TV channel, a content offering designed to service the international and domestic English-speaking audience interested in Japan-oriented television content.

While the focus is on Japan, the channel will also deliver 30 minutes of general news every hour on weekdays and weekends. The remainder of the schedule is devoted to carefully produced programs centered on travel throughout Japan, Japanese culture, and the occasional Japanese language lesson. While Japanese television is generally a rare sight internationally, the new initiative plans to broadcast to roughly 125 million households in over 120 countries. Ultimately, the station hopes to have the channel broadcast over the Internet in other languages including Chinese, French, Spanish and Arabic. NHK chief Hatsuhisa Takashima recently told the media, "By showing various aspects of Japanese public opinion and trends, we can promote a better understanding of Japan around the world."

And, in a move that clearly signals NHK's desire to stay relevant to the changing media landscape, the company just released an iPhone/iPod Touch application that allows anyone to view the station's video feed live via 3G or WiFi. Free of charge to download, the application is simple and efficient in its delivery of video with a full program schedule listing of shows for the coming day. When launched the video feed is a bit pixelated, but after about 90 seconds the picture and sound come in clear as a bell, allowing you to easily listen to the program audio accompanying the video and read the English subtitles provided for most of the shows.

In a similar, but somewhat less innovative move, TV Asahi and TBS recently sealed licensing deals with Google to stream their news shows via the world's most popular Internet video sharing site YouTube. For foreign residents in Japan, these developments are indeed welcome and illustrate a major shift from the generally strict policy Japanese television has held toward digital content distribution in years past.

Just a few years ago, the Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers came to the aid of Japanese content companies by sending YouTube a letter that stated, in part, "Taking into account the current status of your service, we believe that your company should not just wait for rights owners to take the 'Notice and Take down' procedures but should bear the responsibility to prevent, in advance, copyright infringements such as illegal uploads and distributions, or to avoid those infringements…" That letter was sent just after another letter had been delivered to the site on behalf of 23 Japanese content companies requesting that 29,549 video clips be removed from the service.

Now, as the iPhone enjoys solid success in a market many once considered too tough to penetrate for a foreign technology concern, and with devices like the iPad promising to once again transform the dynamics of media consumption, it appears Japanese media are finally understanding that being involved in the digital content game means quickly adapting to change.

END

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Start a Company in Japan

Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar 20th of Feb, 2010

If you have been considering setting up your own company,
find out what it takes to make it successful.
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 13 start-up companies in Japan,
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q and A on
starting up a company in Japan.
This is an ideal opportunity to find out what is involved,
and to ask specific questions that are not normally answered
in business books.
All materials are in English and are Japan-focused.

For more details:
http://www.japaninc.com/entrepreneur_handbook_seminar

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---------------- ICA Event - February 18 ------------------

Speaker: Terry Warren, President-Advantage24 K.K.
Topic: Cloud Computing: Fact or Fiction?

Details: Complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
(RSVP Required)

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010
Time: 6:30 Doors open, Buffet Dinner included and cash bar
Cost: 4,000 yen (members), 6,000 yen (non-members)
Open to all-Venue is The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan
http://www.fccj.or.jp/aboutus/map

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Start a Company in Japan -- Nagoya Seminar

Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar 27th of Feb, 2010 @Nagoya

If you have been considering setting up your own company,
find out what it takes to make it successful.
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 13 start-up companies in Japan,
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q and A on
starting up a company in Japan.
This is an ideal opportunity to find out what is involved,
and to ask specific questions that are not normally answered
in business books.
All materials are in English and are Japan-focused.

For more details:
http://www.japaninc.com/entrepreneur_handbook_seminar

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