Case Study: Sankei Digital (Japan)

Based on the interview made on 18.03.2011 with CEO Tetsuji Kondo.

The name of the publication and / or company

Sankei Digital Inc



Web Address

Form of the company

Business corporation (joint-stock company)

Describe your site or business in few words.

Operates as a full-time digital company owned by Sankei Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest national daily newspapers. The website contains content from five different news sources: General news from MSN Sankei News, sports and entertainment news from Sankei Sports, evening tabloid paper news from ZAKZAK, economics and business news from SankeiBiz, and popular news summaries from iza. Of all of these sources, iza not only reports on news, but is also made up of blogs written by journalists and experts, and allows users to backtrack their blog articles freely. This highlights the website’s interactivity.

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Content creators, paid full-time

Tetsuji Kondo, CEO Representative Director

88 full-time staff (includes 34 staff from mother company)

Content creators, paid half time

13 part-time staff

Business, marketing & sales, paid full-time

13 full-time sales staff

Business, marketing & sales, paid half time

2 part-time staff

8 full-time management staff.

18 full-time systems staff

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

How much is your yearly or monthly revenue?

Yearly Revenue(2010)

・Sales 3,270,620,000 yen (over 40 million USD)

・Sales profit 985,090,000 yen (over 12 million USD)

・Bottom line 581,670,000 yen  (over 7 million USD)

What kind of advertising you sell?

A wide range of advertisements, including tie-ups and listings.

65% advertising revenue, 16% subscribed material, 12% mobile, 4% other.

The company sends its stories to outside sources including around 30 computer and mobile portal sites, and one of Japan’s major social networking services.

Selling digital newspapers and books, and sales of merchandise on an online shop inside the Sankei Digital website named the “Sankei net shop”.

What would be the most important thing on your road to sustainability?

In order to stay in business it is most important to have a model that can be easily adapted to suit the changes in society.  Sankei Digital’s mother company Sankei Newspaper has the lowest share of Japan’s main national dailies.  Going into the internet business first was a move to keep newspapers, and the newspaper company, alive. To make Sankei Digital a product accepted by the IT industry, the company brought in IT experts, and its development focused on providing speedy management and services.  It is important that a company’s business model can be modified continuously to keep up with the speed at which things around them are changing.