WW-121 -- Japanese Content Providers Move Abroad -- Will the second wave be more successful?

J@pan Inc presents the Wireless Watch Newsletter:


Commentary on Japan's Wireless World

Wireless Watch Newsletter
Issue No. 121
Wednesday, February 18, 2004

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@@ Viewpoint: Japanese Content Providers Move Abroad -- Will the
second wave be more successful?

============== THIS MONTH! ===============

In the FEBRUARY issue of J@PAN INC magazine:

>> Leo Lewis joins the Blackman family as they return to Japan for the
first time since the body of hostess Lucie Blackman was discovered in a
remote seaside cave. Lewis follows the Blackmans to the scenes of the
crime, Roppongi bars -- and a chilling courtroom confrontation with the
[READ IT: http://www.japaninc.com/article.php?articleID=1285]

>> Celia Farber reports from New York: An exclusive interview with
superstar chef Marc Samuelsson, whose latest venture, RIINGO, an
upscale Japanese-American restaurant, opened just a few weeks ago in
midtown Manhattan. Farber brings us the inside scoop on the Japanese
chef from Tokyo and his Swedish (!) culinary partner.
[READ IT: http://www.japaninc.com/article.php?articleID=1275]

>> Meet the uber-confident chief behind Japan's globally dominant
steel industry -- and the head of the ailing IRCJ, designed to save
corporations but suddenly stuck on the sidelines.

>> How bad is Japan's water? Trek with us to a UN forum to find out.

PLUS: the latest gadget gizmos, investment advice, consumer surveys
and MORE ... out NOW at (better) newsstands, and online at:


Check us out!
============== EVENT =======================
ICA Feb 19 Event

PRESENTER: Chiharu Nakabayashi, General Manager, Cisco-Linksys K.K.
TOPIC: Wireless Home Networking - The Next Generation of Consumer
Electronics Products

RSVP required, complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
Date: Wednesday, Feb 19
Time: 6:30 Doors open, sit down dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members)
Foreign Correspondents' Club:
=============== EVENT =====================
G-MAC's "5th Annual Japan's Int'l Banking & Securities System Forum 2004"
Date: March 18 - 19
Location: Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)

This two-day forum provides a better understanding of front, middle
and back office systems with its concentrated agenda. Invited guest
speakers will give their domestic & global outlook on STP/ Banking
&Securities initiatives.

Also, leading solution providers will be presenting free Workshop
sessions presenting products & services in designing and implementing
a front/middle/back office strategy.
Tel: 81-3-5805-6070, email: info@gmacjapan.com, www.gmacjapan.com

@@ Viewpoint: Japanese Content Providers Move Abroad -- Will the
second wave be more successful?

When i-mode was introduced to Europe and Taiwan, DoCoMo took its most
successful content providers to the European carriers. Most of the
Japanese content providers preferred to stay under the i-mode umbrella
because of digital rights problems with the WAP handsets available
in overseas markets. Once downloaded on WAP handsets, content could
be easily copied or forwarded to other handsets. I-mode handsets
prevent users from doing this.

Ringtone providers like Cybird, Yamaha and NEC have now established
brands in the i-mode portals. These companies have not been able to
replicate their Japanese success stories -- yet. Cybird痴 overseas
sales account for only 18 million yen, which is 0.4 percent of
their total revenues.

Two ringtone providers, For-side.com and Oricon, have recently
entered overseas markets. We will take a closer look this week at
Japan痴 leading ringtone provider For-side.com, which has made some
amazing advances overseas.

For-side.com was a late arrival in the Japanese market. The company
was established in 2000, more than a year after the introduction of
i-mode. By that time the content market was already quite competitive
and difficult to enter as a newcomer.

Through an aggressive growth strategy, For-side.com has been able
to become a major player in the download services market -- with
more than 100 sites in i-mode, EZweb and Vodafone Live!. For-side
has been able to distinguish itself by offering an enormous database
of ringtones -- 50,000 unique songs -- and thematic download sites
for movies and cartoon ringtones. For-side.com also operates a
search engine for ringtones and images. The company was listed on
the JASDAQ in October 2002.

To facilitate further growth, For-side.com has established subsidiaries
in Korea, the US and the UK. Recently, Korea officially opened its
doors to Japanese culture. For-side.com took the opportunity to provide
J-Pop "chaku-uta" and video-clips that were already very popular in
the Korean undergound scene.

In January, the chaku-uta services were launched in Korea痴 KTF portal.
Wallpaper services for AT&T Wireless started last week. For-side.com's
UK office will target Europe starting with the UK and French markets.

The company痴 approach differs from that of its Japanese competitors:
For-side seeks to drive growth through as many channels as possible.
Surprisingly, it did not use the i-mode carriers to jump-start
its services abroad. We expect that once chaku-uta services are
launched in the European market, For-side.com will be very well-
positioned, as it has already contracts in place with the
major record labels.

-- Arjen van Blokland

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Temple University Japan will hold an information session for its top-
ranked Executive MBA program at its Minami-Azabu campus on February 28
at 11 a.m. This will be the final information session for classes
beginning in May 2004.

Applications are due April 1. The Financial Times ranks Temple as one
of the top EMBA programs in the world.

For more information, please call: 0120-86-1026, or e-mail:
Web: www.tuj.ac.jp/emba
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Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo -- March Seminar

Ms. Ruriko Nomura is the President of Hopes Inc., a frontier company
aiming to establish an educational consulting field. Her presentation
is entitled: "Starting a Business Without Capital."
Come out and learn about the opportunities in the Japanese business
world that she discovered.

Date: Tuesday, March 2. Language: English
http://www.ea-tokyo.com Email: info@ea-tokyo.com
SUBSCRIBERS: 9,700 as of February 18, 2004

Written by Arjen van Blokland; Edited by Roland Kelts


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