MMW-61 -- Chaku-motion: The Latest in Mobile Music Video

J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
Commentary on Japan's music technology news

Issue No. 61
Thursday, June 3, 2004



++ FEATURE: Chaku-motion: The Latest in Mobile Music Video

** JASRAC Reports Increased Royalties for Fiscal 2003
** Sony To Release Vaio Pocket Music Player This Week
** Music Week To Publish Ringtone Chart

============== EA Event ================
Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo - One Year Anniversary - June Seminar

Join the June 9th Panel Discussion to Celebrate EA-Tokyo's One Year
Anniversary! Don't miss this great opportunity to hear: Tim Williams,
Founder and Chairman of ValueCommerce; Caroline Pover, President and
Founder of Alexandra Press, Being A Broad, and Go Girls; and Lance Lee,
President of IGC (Japan) Ltd, and the former President of the Amercian
Chamber of Commerce in Japan. The theme for the discussion will be,
"Creating Value for Customers and for Owners. What does it mean to
Create Value?" The discussion will be moderated by Tokyo entrepreneur,
Carl Kay. Please register early to reserve your seat.

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm City Club of Tokyo - Maple
Room (Canadian Embassy Complex) Language: English Email:


++ FEATURE: Chaku-motion: The Latest in Mobile Music Video

As ringtones gradually give way to chaku-uta (mastertone) services,
many Japanese content providers are now offering short video clips
(known as "chaku-motion") of well-known artists on their sites. Demand
for these videos is rapidly rising, and has mobile providers
scrambling to obtain the rights for all kinds of music video footage.

During a quick survey this week, we found a surprising variety of chaku-
motion clips on sites run by ringtone and mastertone providers. The most
common featured well-known Japanese pop singers or bands waving or
strumming a guitar and saying something clever like "You've got a phone
call!" Others featured short MTV-like videos and short clips of live
performances. One site for guitarists had video "lessons" of professional
players shredding the guitar neck with lightning-fast solos, as well
as a "movie message" from slide guitarist Eric Sardinas, apparently
filmed during his recent Japan tour.

As with chaku-uta, most of the chaku-motion services still suffer from
a lack of selection. Again, the bottleneck for content providers lies
in obtaining the rights to use video footage of the artists. With
ringtones, licensing and royalties were easy, but production was
challenging and required the employment of "desktop" musicians with
strong arranging skills. Chaku-uta and chaku-motion, on the other hand,
are relatively simple to produce, but much more difficult to obtain
rights for. One content provider summed up the situation by saying:
"Success in ringtones depended on your knowledge, musicianship,
speed and physical endurance; success in chaku-motion depends more
on your industry connections."

Some providers without these connections have found ways to at least
get their services off the ground, allowing them to gain a head start
on competitors while they try to negotiate deals with big-name artists.
One site features famous musical phrases for various instruments played
by studio professionals. While the phrase is playing, one or more
still-frame photos of the original artist are displayed on the screen.
Other services have been able to start by creating their own videos
to go with chaku-uta songs for which they have the rights, or by
featuring only indie-label artists.

Despite a cost of roughly $1.00 per download (plus up to another $1.00
in packet fees) for a 10- to 20-second clip, these chaku-motion
downloads have proven extremely popular so far. NTT DoCoMo is currently
promoting chaku-motion as the premiere contents for its latest 900i
series of FOMA handsets. It stands at the top of the i-mode service
menu, and is prominently featured in the current FOMA advertisements.
The size of most chaku-motion clips is around 80 to 100KB, although
in recent weeks larger files of around 200KB have been appearing. With
DoCoMo's recent announcement of a plan for flat-rate monthly packet
charges, we are sure to see increasingly larger files and longer clips
in the coming months.

-- Steve Myers

============= WIN A FREE TICKET! ==============
Economist Conferences'
Which road now?
July 14th 2004, Tokyo

This is an exclusive opportunity for you to gain fresh insights into the
thinking of Japan's leading auto industry executives via serious debate,
audience interaction and networking.

Special offer exclusive for J@pan Inc readers!
Please register at:



** JASRAC Reports Increased Royalties for Fiscal 2003

In brief: The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and
Publishers (JASRAC) recently announced it had collected a total of
109 billion yen ($973 million) for fiscal 2003, an increase of 3.2
percent over last year. Royalties from music distributed to PCs and
mobile phones via the Internet totaled 13.8 billion yen ($123 million),
a 4.2 percent increase over 2002.


=============== ICA Event ================
ICA June 17 Event - Special Double Header

PRESENTER: Greg Ascolese Principal, ABeam Consulting
TOPIC: Case Studies and Approaches for Implementing Customer
PRESENTER: Jenny Sutton Partner, ABeam Consulting
TOPIC: Extending the Life of Legacy Systems

RSVP required, complete event details at
Date: Thursday, June 17
Time: 6:30 Doors open, sit down dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members), Open to
all Foreign Correspondents' Club


** Sony To Release Vaio Pocket Music Player This Week

In brief: Touted as the "iPod Killer", Sony will begin selling its new
Vaio Pocket Music Player in Japan on June 5. The player comes with a
20GB hard disk and 2.2 inch color screen, and can play music for
20 hours continuously, supporting the MP3, WMA, WAV and ATRAC3 formats.


======= Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar ========
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 12 start-up companies in Japan will be
giving a English-language seminar and Q&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.

Time/date: 10:30am, June 26th, 2004
Place: 7-8-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107
Price: 15,000 yen prepaid, 20,000 at the door
Included: Lunchbox, refreshments, handouts

Bookings:, in English or Japanese.


** Music Week To Publish Ringtone Chart

In brief: Music Week Magazine will begin publishing a "Ringtone Top 20"
chart next week. The chart will be compiled by KPMG and backed by the
British Phonographic Industry. In the UK, ringtone sales have become
greater than sales of singles, reaching $128.3 million in 2003, compared
to sales of $115.5m for single CDs.


=========== Tennis Lessons ================
FREE tennis lessons at Hilton Tokyo Hotel, Shinjuku! Want to play tennis
but don't know how to find a court in Tokyo? JINJI TENNIS CENTER provides
the ideal tennis environment for foreigners living In and around Tokyo.
For info on tournaments, specials For Kids, tennis equipment, ET Cetera.

click "English" for details.

Subscribers: 2,609 as of June 3, 2004

Written by: Steve Myers (
Steve Myers is president and chief enthusiast of Theta Music
Technologies, which specializes in the development of music-related
software applications.

Edited by J@pan Inc editor: (


To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here:

To advertise in this newsletter, contact:

Subscribe at:

We welcome your viewpoint:
(NB Please do not reply to this newsletter -- it's outgoing only,
so we won't get it!)


(C) Copyright 2004 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.