Friday, March 22, 2013
Fuji, Itochu To Form Asian Media Content Venture
Previously, Japanese television broadcasters had focused on selling original programming to overseas counterparts. They now see a need to go a step further to meet growing Asian demand for content.
The 50-50 joint venture, capitalized at 40 million yen, will partner with broadcasters in Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan to broadcast original infomercials and music programming in each market. Fuji will contribute its production experience, while Itochu will offer its procurement and distribution know-how.
The plan is to work with major Thai and Taiwanese home shopping networks to produce programming that spotlights local and Japanese merchandise. Local personalities will come to Japan and film at a Fuji Television Network Inc. studio in Tokyo. Broadcasts will begin in April.
The venture will also create music talent shows with Formosa Television, Taiwan's most-watched terrestrial broadcaster; South Korean content firm CJ E&M Inc.; and an Indonesian media company. Two entrants from each local production, as well as a Japanese edition, will compete at the Fuji TV studio. Fuji and Itochu will handle production and music publication rights for the winning songs, which will be used to develop business in Asia.
The Asian market for music and television content appears headed for rapid growth. Excluding Japan, it will likely expand an annual 7% and reach 62 billion dollars in 2020. But the domestic market looks to grow just 1% a year to hit 40 billion dollars in 2020, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Developing the Asian market is essential to the growth of Japanese content companies.
(The Nikkei, March 22 morning edition)