Case study: CB News (Japan)

Based on the interview made in 22.04.2011 with Masaharu Yoshioka.

The name of the publication and / or company

Career Brain

Established

April 2006

Web Address

www.cabrain.net/news

Form of the company

Business corporation

Describe your site or business in few words.

CB News is a news website offering information about medical and nursing-care, and was originally set up as a service to subscribers of Career Brain, an employment agency for medical and nursing-care professionals.

Other than news related to medical and nursing-care, the website also posts about news that is highly relevant to medical and nursing-care professionals on a range of topics from politics, social security, pharmaceuticals, medical accidents, conferences, and symposiums.

While the website is limited to medicine, it is popular with those specializing in specific fields of journalism.

Many of the reporters have had experience in newspaper companies, wire news services, and medical reporting. The website also has video news content.

As a subscriber-focused service, news uploaded online is only visible for 72 hours before it is only readable to subscribed members.

Membership is free, and once signed up, members get access to interactive features such as commenting and voting on articles.

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

21 in total

1 editor
1 desk
14 writers
3 designers
2 tech

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

Revenue figures and streams

Numbers not public.

More than half of their revenue comes from advertising

A little under half of their revenue comes from charging fees for content such as sending emails containing additional news information to businesses and organizations, or accepting news from business and a small revenue comes from selling pay-per-view news videos on major portal websites.

What kind of advertisement you sell?

Mainly network advertisements and tie-up advertisements Advertisements are uploaded onto websites, and are embedded into mail magazines CBnews sends out. AdSense and AdWords are also used.

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

We think it would be difficult to continue with the business model we currently have. Although CBnews have provided logistical support for a career-change website – Career Brain’s primary job – the scale has grown, driving up the cost of reporters and server rental fees. Because CBnews is news website specializing in medicine, it is difficult to say the organization has gained social significance or is of value. It is currently in a transition period, and we are constantly looking for the perfect business model. In order to stay in business, we believe we need to find a way to raise funds that are not connected to Career Brain. It is important we can transform something into money. Ideally, the organization would like to stay away from advertising revenue and stay in business using the money raised by membership fees. However, we are not even sure whether this business model will keep us afloat in the long period.