Case Study

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Publisher Growth

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Supporting J-Cast for growth beyond monetization

J-Cast, a leading independent news media in Japan, has been delivering sophisticated content and information to its audience. While managing the website, they faced challenges in improving advertising revenue. With the implementation of AnyManager, they successfully increased their revenue further. In this interview, representatives from AnyMind Group’s FourM spoke with J-Cast’s digital marketing team about the impact of AnyManager’s implementation, areas of support, and future plans.

Interviewer profile

Name: Daichi Nakamura
Position: Head of Digital Marketing, Planning and Sales Department
Profile: Joined the company in 2005, and is responsible for marketing support for retail and distribution industries. Started working in the company’s own media advertising sales in 2006. Involved in the introduction of programmatic advertising to company-owned media and worked towards maximizing media revenue through operations.

Significant Revenue Increase Achieved through AnyManager Implementation

Could you please tell us about the collaboration with FourM?

We started working together in 2016. At that time, our company wasn’t particularly focused on monetization through ad revenue. Among the multiple web media platforms operated by us, J-CAST News was the only one experimenting with programmatic advertising.

Initially, we were working with a different media consultant, but the results in terms of advertising revenue were not satisfactory. We felt the need for a fresh approach. It was during such a time that our team coincidentally learned about FourM. Intrigued, we decided to explore further and hear what they had to offer.

Ultimately, we entrusted FourM with monetization support for J-CAST News. Since we achieved positive results, considering the workload on our engineers and management, we made the decision to transition all our other media platforms completely to FourM.

What was the impact after implementing AnyManager?

We have experienced a significant increase in revenue through the implementation of AnyManager, expanding ad slots, and utilizing techniques like Header Bidding. We are particularly thankful for the robust technical support. The realm of advertising technology is niche and specialized, making it challenging for media platforms to comprehend everything and integrate new technologies independently.

In our case, implementing AnyManager allowed us to adopt new technologies with minimal effort, as FourM’s experts are well-versed in AdTech and provide clear explanations. This expertise instills confidence in entrusting them with our ad tech needs.

On the other hand, while expanding ad slots or increasing inventory is a fundamental aspect, we feel there are limitations to improving ad revenue solely through these measures. This perspective is not a criticism of FourM but stems from the global context in which the web advertising industry operates.

Looking ahead, we believe it’s crucial to address how we’ll adapt if revenue growth becomes stagnant solely through ad monetization. Discussions are underway to expand support beyond just monetization, focusing on areas such as SEO strategies, ensuring user traffic, and overall site management. We want to develop a growth strategy that encompasses more than just monetization.

Leveraging AnyMind Group’s resources to the fullest potential, creating new revenue streams

Could you please share your company’s future business outlook?

Regarding programmatic advertising, there used to be a situation where implementing new technologies could boost revenue, given the constant emergence of innovations. However, in the past 3-4 years, it feels like we have reached a point where most essential technologies have been introduced, and the focus has shifted towards maximizing revenue through effective operations.

On the other hand, the environment surrounding programmatic advertising is challenging, as evident from Google’s declining revenue. I believe CPM (Cost Per Mille) will not return to its previous levels. In such circumstances, we aim to explore methods to increase revenue beyond advertising, leveraging the asset of the user base that media possesses.

Do you have any specific areas in mind?

Although monetization through the advertising model of web media has become challenging, we do intend to implement measures to increase cash points. At the moment, it’s just an idea and hasn’t been realized yet. One thing I can say is that we want to create a business model that goes beyond media business, such as developing pure advertising menus.

Particularly, the user data we have acquired through our media operations is an extremely valuable resource. Therefore, establishing a monetization model that effectively utilizes this resource is crucial for the future. FourM’s strength, as part of AnyMind Group, lies in the wide-ranging support it provides outside the realm of media. We believe in collaborating to bring these ideas to life.

About Media Operated by J-Cast Corporation:

J-CAST News:
A news service centered around the comprehensive news site “J-CAST News,” comprising 23 sub-channels, including “Trend,” which extensively introduces new products and trends, and “Company Watch,” which delves into various company-related topics through columns.

Tokyo Bargain Mania:
An information site for bargain hunters who want to live their daily lives more affordably and enjoyably. Since its start in December 2011, the editorial team keeps an eye on numerous websites and social media platforms daily to deliver hidden “great deals,” Japan’s first gourmet experiences, and instantly accessible events. Serving as concierges for people who say, “I don’t have time, but I want to find information that suits me perfectly,” they timely convey the current Tokyo scene.

J-Town Net:
Each prefecture’s homepage features a lineup of well-known spots, unique delicacies, everyday life quirks, realizations, questions, concerns, and moments of laughter. Editors with a spirit of exploration find local interests and amusing aspects within readers’ “100-meter radius,” sharing them nationwide. It’s a news and column site for regional communities and towns.

Book Watch:
Started in December 2011 as a book introduction site, “Book Watch” picks up highly reliable information leveraging the characteristics of books as a medium. In recent years, it has evolved into a “media that enriches hearts and lives for intellectual and curious readers.” Besides creating encounters with fascinating and useful books, it supports the well-being of people living in the future by sharpening intellect and taste. This includes author and expert interviews, advice sessions, and introductions to enriching places.

About J-Cast Corporation:

Established in 1997 with the shared goal of “satisfying the curiosity of all people,” J-Cast Corporation engages in online news distribution through “J-CAST News,” content planning, production, and provision for various media such as the web, magazines, and books through its solution business, as well as comprehensive e-learning services for corporate training.

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