Instead of waiting for the Japanese launch of Apple's iPad, Sony, Toppan Printing, KDDI Corporation, and the Asahi Shimbun have announced they will establish a joint venture to develop an eBook distribution company that will build and manage a common distribution platform for books, comics, magazines and newspapers for the Japanese market. And the door is opened for other companies.
This new company (announced on May 27) intends to start a content distribution service within this calendar year.
"The introduction of digital devices that enhance the reading experience has heightened global interest in digital publishing. By utilizing their technologies and knowhow, the four participating companies aim to create an environment where publishers and newspapers can assuredly provide digital content, and plan to build one of the largest eBook distribution platforms in Japan" comment the founding companies (photo taken at the press conference by Mainichi newspapers).
The four participating companies and the joint venture will be open to other companies joining them in their initiatives to establish a market for eBook content in Japan. The eBook distribution company plans to construct an open platform which can deliver content to consumers through a range of devices.
Following discussions among the joint venture and participating companies, the eBook distribution company plans to handle content aggregation from publishers and newspapers, digital content authoring, platform management, sales, distribution and promotions. It will also provide the system planning, development, and construction which is necessary to support these functions.
The four participating companies as well as the joint venture will aim to develop the Japanese eBook market to offering a seamless experience to a wide range of consumers for them to enjoy eBooks, "at anytime, anywhere."
Overview of Business Planning Joint Venture
- Date of Establishment: Planned for July 1, 2010
- Business Activities: Planning/designing common eBook distribution platform
- Stated Capital and Additional Paid-in Capital: 30,000,000 yen (Stated Capital: 15,000,000 yen; Additional Paid-in Capital: 15,000,000 yen)
- Investment Ratio: Sony (25%), Toppan (25%), KDDI (25%), Asahi Shimbun (25%)