Case study: 47news (Japan)

Based on an interview made on April 14, 2011 with Mr. Masaru Imai,  Senior Executive Officer of the Press Net Japan Co., Ltd. that runs and operates 47NEWS news website.  The interview was conducted in Japanese.

The name of the publication and / or company

Press Net Japan Co., Ltd.

Established

September 2006

Web Address

www.47news.jp

Form of the company

Business corporation (joint-stock company)

Describe your site or business in few words.

“47NEWS” is a news website, bringing together local, national and international news and information from 52 newspapers across Japan and Kyodo News, Japan’s leading news agency. Kyodo News also provides national and international news to its newspaper publisher members for their print media. The number 47 stands for the number of prefectures that make up Japan.

As well as breaking national and international news from Kyodo News, the website covers a wide range of regional news and information from the 52 newspapers, including lifestyle and tourism, local entertainment and sporting events to name a few. In total, about 10,000 reporters from Kyodo News and 52 local newspapers contribute to 47NEWS.

While many new internet-only media are popping up in Japan, Kyodo News and 52 newspaper companies made 47NEWS together to create a new way for traditional newspaper companies.

Five years since it was established, people are becoming more and more aware of the website, and according to a survey conducted by Nielsen/NetRating, it ranked the fifth most popular website visited following the Japan earthquake in March this year (2011), trailing behind websites such as Yahoo!, Reuters, and NHK.

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

2 in total: CEO and a system engineer.

The information about the number of staff members is withheld.

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

Mainly supported by advertising revenue (see info).

The company is built on advertising revenue coming in from the Ad Network

Less than 10 per cent of the overall revenue comes from selling news content (texts, photos and video clips) to organizations and companies that run their own websites. Content is not sold to portal websites or news websites.

Balance sheet (2010)

Assets 285,218,232 yen (around 3.5 million USD)

Debt 103,248,098 yen (around 1.27 million USD)

Net worth 181,970,134 yen (around 2.2 million USD)

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

The business has been able to expand thanks to advertising profits, but is cautious about remaining a business that is dependent on advertising revenue. There are plans to focus more on selling news content to organizations and companies.

Working together with Japan’s leading wire agency, Kyodo News, and regional papers from across the country, 47NEWS hopes to become the most recognized and trusted information website on the internet, and will be continuing efforts to enhance sales and marketing while making difference among contents in the ever-changing digital world by creating joint digital project platform in cooperation with member newspapers and Kyodo News.