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Case
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Reference no. 9-508-071
Subject category: Marketing
Authors: Anita Elberse
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Originally published in: 2008
Version: 12 November 2008
Length: 20 pages
Data source: Field research
Topics: Internet; Marketing

Abstract

It is late 2007. So-called cell phone (''keitai'') novels have turned into an extremely popular form of entertainment on the go in Japan, in particular among young, female readers. In fact, consisting mostly of love stories written by amateurs in short sentences and containing little plot or character development, cell phone novels republished in book form and even remade as movies have come to dominate mainstream media content. At media giant Sony, Ken Munekata, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), and Atsushi Fukuda, President of Sony Digital Entertainment (SDE), are attempting to craft an adequate response. After establishing SDE as a 100% subsidiary of Sony Japan, they now develop a wide range of digital content offerings for mobile phone users, mostly original content ''made in Japan'' - including keitai novels. But can SDE''s subscription model compete in a market dominated by free keitai novel offerings? And, more generally, do Sony''s current keitai initiatives move the company in the right strategic direction? Allows for an in-depth examination of viable business models for established media companies competing in digital markets dominated by user-generated, advertising-supported content. Also enables an assessment of the economics of producing and distributing traditional films and books versus digital (cell phone) content.
Location:
Size:
163,000 employees, USD75 billion
Other setting(s):
2007

About

Abstract

It is late 2007. So-called cell phone (''keitai'') novels have turned into an extremely popular form of entertainment on the go in Japan, in particular among young, female readers. In fact, consisting mostly of love stories written by amateurs in short sentences and containing little plot or character development, cell phone novels republished in book form and even remade as movies have come to dominate mainstream media content. At media giant Sony, Ken Munekata, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), and Atsushi Fukuda, President of Sony Digital Entertainment (SDE), are attempting to craft an adequate response. After establishing SDE as a 100% subsidiary of Sony Japan, they now develop a wide range of digital content offerings for mobile phone users, mostly original content ''made in Japan'' - including keitai novels. But can SDE''s subscription model compete in a market dominated by free keitai novel offerings? And, more generally, do Sony''s current keitai initiatives move the company in the right strategic direction? Allows for an in-depth examination of viable business models for established media companies competing in digital markets dominated by user-generated, advertising-supported content. Also enables an assessment of the economics of producing and distributing traditional films and books versus digital (cell phone) content.

Settings

Location:
Size:
163,000 employees, USD75 billion
Other setting(s):
2007

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