Case study: JB Press (Japan)

Based on the interview made in 30.03.2011 with CEO Satoshi Sugahara

The name of the publication and / or company

Japan Business Press

Established

2008/3

Web Address

jbpress.ismedia.jp

Form of the company

business corporation (joint-stock company)

Describe your site or business in few words.

JBpress is a business news and information website, mainly developed to fill in gaps in the current mass media who have trouble keeping up with international and regional business news. It achieves this by producing economic content that explains the news and its background.

Through its collaborations with the Economist and the Financial Times, the company is able to report about economic trends from a perspective of the overseas media. Vice versa, JBpress also sends out news about Japanese businesses, technologies, and industries in English.

“Renewing Japan” is an important theme of JBpress, and the website recommends many things related to rebuilding Japan’s society that not only covers economic issues, but also medical, agricultural, and national defense issues.

The website gets more than 10 million page views, making it one of Japan’s top business websites specialized in internet media, and is recognized as a trustworthy resource by businessmen.

Signing up to become a member allows people to comment on articles on the website. Many of the site’s articles are referred to every day, thanks in part to Twitter and Facebook.

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Total staff of 20

 

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

Sales

¥700,000,000, approx. 8.5 million USD (Expected in 2011) The past few years have seen growths of more than 200%

What kind of advertisement you sell

85% Advertising revenue.

Mainly uses advertising sales syndication Media League. Media League is a scheme which designs and sells content advertisements (tie-ups, advertorial), packages of several web media that have been molded to meet the proposals and demands of advertising companies. As of November 20, 2009, 30 groups are part of it, including finance, news, banking, IT, and other businesses.

For a business media such as JBpress that focuses on the economy and management, our package advertisement products target the industry’s decision makers, high-income earners, and those looking for success on the market.

Wasting money on normal advertising systems which ignore the quality of its contents will not help a business to survive.

1% affiliates, 14% other (such as consulting services)

Selling products or services (digital or virtual)

None. But there are plans to bring in EC or product sales in the future.

Other revenue soured

Contract work for translating and marketing-related research There are plans to transform content into digital books and sell them within Japan.

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

We believe it is important to improve the user registration system, and find an integral way to make money. Currently there are 700,000 to 900,000 JBpress readers, but only a handful of them are registered users. We think user registrations will jump to 30 or 50 times if we introduce a members-only system for each article. By seeing what content is popular, we will be able to modify advertisements into their favor. It is important to keep users on the site, and to create a sponsor-like advertising menu that will help raise profits. Another problem is the risk of being controlled by a major portal website. They can only go so far as a contents provider. Therefore, it is important for content providers to work together and create a new platform.