Marketing Japan: Yahoo Surrenders to Google. Just About “Game Over”!…

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

For so many years here in Japan, was the preferred search engine for the average Japanese person. Then, about two years ago, started making serious moves into Yahoo Japan’s dominance.

Last year, for the very first time, Japanese users found Google to be the search engine of choice for their needs.

Now, Yahoo Japan seems to have given up…

From the Yomiuri Newspaper:

Yahoo Japan aims to improve the quality of its services with its recent decision to use Google Inc.’s search engine, a move that will cause the firm to rely on a rival company, according to analysts. The partnership between Yahoo Japan and Google of the United States is indicative of the fierce competition in the Internet market.

The deal, announced Tuesday, means Google will dominate about 90 percent of the Internet search market in Japan. While both firms will use the same search engine, each company will provide services using its own information. “The competitive relationship will continue,” Yahoo Japan said. By utilizing Google’s search engine, Yahoo Japan hopes to optimize its business resources.

Yahoo Inc., which owns 34.7 percent of Yahoo Japan and is its second-largest stakeholder, suspended development of its search technology and now utilizes rival Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine, hoping to catch up with Google–the leader in the U.S. Internet search market.

What a load of “spin.” Yahoo here actually admits in public that Google search engine is superior (but you and I already knew that!) when they say,

Yahoo Japan aims to improve the quality of its services with its recent decision to use Google Inc.’s search engine

I’ll bet this steams the buns of Yahoo Inc. in the USA. By the way, like the article says, Yahoo in the USA owns 34.7% of Yahoo Japan so you can bet that there were some heated debates about this pulling up their skirts and running for cover.

No doubt about it anymore… Google has kicked Yahoo’s butt!

I have been to both Google Japan’s office’s and Yahoo Japan here in Tokyo. I can tell you from experience that there seems to be much more of a “buzz” at Google and I get the impression that the Google people just know that they are kicking the butt of the competition.

It reminds me of the atmosphere difference between Apple and Microsoft.

At Apple Japan, things are happening and people just brim with excitement. At Microsoft I get the impression of a company that is fat and resting on their laurels.

It’s the same at Yahoo Japan and Google Japan…

With this deal, Google Japan gets 90% of the search market in Japan. Look for Yahoo to slip back to more and more of a bit player in the Japanese market over the next 5 ~ 10 years.



Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Japan, Google Japan, marketing, Apple Japan, Internet, United States, Microsoft, Japanese, Tokyo, Marketing Japan, Mike Rogers, Mike in Tokyo Rogers, search engine,

Marketing Japan: John Lander’s Asia Images are Incredible!…..

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

If you are ever in need of excellent, super high-quality stock images of Japan and Asia, then let me highly recommend John Lander. I think his work is fantastic.

John Lander Asia Images

Here is a slide show of a recent trip John took to an onsen (hot springs) in Japan. See the slideshow here.

John is a free-lance photographer and here is a short bio on John from Phottix Journal:

John Lander is a freelance writer and photographer based in Japan with a passion for Japanese gardens, Japanese cuisine and festivals. John’s credits include photos and articles published by Travel+Leisure, Forbes, Camping Life, Diversion, Asian Geographic, The Japan Times, The Toronto Star, Sydney Morning Post,The Australian among many others. Other clients include Twentieth Century Fox, Hachette Media, Asahi Press and McGraw-Hill.

You may not be able to visit Japan right now, but, if you have the desire, you can see John Lander’s work and get the feel of being here.

John Lander photography is the next best thing to actually being in Japan! See his galleries here.

Book Review for Thinkers: Malcolm Gladwell “Outliers”

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

I am a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell and, even if you don’t read books too often, I strongly suggest that you read Malcolm Gladwell.

It will put you well ahead of your peers in understanding, perhaps not the nuts and bolts of marketing, but philosophy and great insights to how things work and why some things become popular in our society today.

Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell became hugely popular with the books, The Tipping Point and Blink.

The Tipping Point explains why things run as under-currents for so long and then, suddenly, burst out into mass popularity. His theory is best explained as a comparison to the common cold or influenza. In the case of influenza, the disease is in all of our bodies at all times, but what causes it to suddenly explode and to become pandemic only to subside quietly later on just as quickly as it arrived? Gladwell explains that perfectly and in an incredibly interesting writing style that will have the reader enthralled the entire book.

In Blink, Gladwell explains how we can judge something within a split second and do… It’s just that, as a result of living in modern society, we depress our instinctive feelings and use our brains more… Sometimes with bad results…

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Say, late at night, a woman enters a dark building and goes to the elevator. She stands there and then a man comes to stand next to her. She instinctively feels that something is wrong; there is some danger. Yet she rationalizes that she is just being paranoid. She enters the elevator with the man and then, in the elevator, she is robbed or worse.

Compared with the fawn in a field. A fawn senses danger and then does not hesitate to think, the fawn is off on a dash to run away.

Had the woman trusted her instinctive feelings that nature gave her, she wouldn’t have had the unfortunate incident happen to her. That is the lessons of Blink; that we can judge anything, a person, a book, a movie, music, whatever within a second or two.

I think this is absolutely true. After working in music and entertainment for over 30 years, I can judge within 2 seconds if some music I hear is “good” or not (meaning something that I would like).

Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book Outliers “The Story of Success” is another winner. This time he explains about what it takes to be a world class professional. It doesn’t matter whether we are considering   professional hockey players, musicians, concert pianists, soccer players or Biochemical engineers… Gladwell has unlocked the mystery as to what makes one person a Nobel Peace Prize candidate and ones that were also-ran…

I highly recommend this book for everyone especially parents with small children. After reading Outliers, you may see why some kids excel and others are just “like all the others” and how much you really do have to say about your child’s future.

I think the results will astound you.

Marketing Japan: Does SMM Need Old Media to be Successful? No! Here’s Proof….

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

There sure is a lot of boring stuff on Social Media these days. I was just checking out Linkedin where they had a topic of “What are for you the most common mistakes in social media marketing approach?” (sic)

It said:

What are for you most the common mistakes in social media marketing approach?

Either from client’s side or agencies’ side, what are the obvious reason why social media strategies you have seen were not working?

For me , some are:
- lack of time investment,
- Boring / irrelevant content,
- lack of clear objectives,
- Being inactive,
- Do not react when sollicitate
- …
What are yours?


I didn’t correct his post. That’s how poorly it was written. I’m assuming that he’s missing one of the reasons that his SMM is doing poorly is because his spelling, diction and grammar are wretched…

Besides that, these good people are mainly talking about pick, Twitter and Facebook (Mixi is only in Japan). Some of the good folks actually did write intelligent comments and I usually don’t write comments on these things, but this time I made an exception. I responded:

I think everyone is missing two huge points that I see all the time and that I do believe will be, say, Twitter’s undoing within 3 years (besides 60% of all Twitter users dropping off within the first 30 days).

1) Boring writers make boring content. Get motivated, creative and funny or interesting writers. Quit forcing office clerks to do SMM (I see that all the time). If the writer is not motivated what makes anyone think the readers will enjoy the writing?

2) Quit sending out motivational and sales stuff all the time… I’d say that at least 1/2 of the junk I get on Twitter is the same as Direct Mail. Who needs it?

Another guy (obviously an old hand at advertising and marketing) wrote:

I see the market and clients every day, and the thing I can tell you is that a B to C company investing all its marketing budget and ressources in social media has 99% chances failing. (sic)

This might be true, but rather than trying to convince you or me, I gather he is trying to convince himself… This would also explain why his Social Media Marketing efforts fail. He doesn’t “get it.”

He goes on to write:

This for one simple reason, their are rules and processes in marketing and nobody will want to connect and engage with a brand you don’t know.
For this reason , I am convinced that SM works ONLY when being integrated inside a marketing plan, together with media placement, PR, promo, direct marketing and CRM.

Notice that there is not single fact or piece of evidence that he inserts into his claims. What a load of nonsense. What “rules”? What “processes”?

(I can imagine that his retort to my skepticism would be “Because I know. I’ve been in this business a long time!” Just as the captain of the Titanic, Edward Smith, was a thirty-two year veteran when they hit that ice-berg!)

I bet this is the kind of crap he tells his clients. What’s he doing on a Linkedin Social Media site besides posing as a SMM expert I don’t know. Besides that, like I said, I hope this guy doesn’t write copy. It’s terrible.

Besides his being wrong and just throwing out opinions. He obviously doesn’t know or comprehend how to use Social Media well… I suspect that, from being in a dusty old advertising company desk for so long, that he’s so used to taking client money and going out to “do” lunch while on the client’s dollar that he thinks he can do things the old way; think for a while (or tell someone else to do the thinking) and order someone else to do the Social Media part (I explained above why that’s a bad idea) and sit around like always.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

I didn’t blast the guy (like he deserved), but added this as my last word:

One more thing that I think is missing – and I don’t agree that a big bucks mass media plan is necessary – I’ve done it without one.

Notes: We increased airline passengers to and from Japan for a Chinese airlines by over 270% between October 2009 and April 2010. We also increased tourism to Croatia by 300% in three years (don’t forget this was during a seriously down market – airlines lost billions in 2009) all by the internet only – with minimal mass media support (we certainly did not spend one cent on mass media!).

It seems that too many good folks are trying to do the SMM the lazy way… You do SMM to keep costs down, but SMM is, perhaps not labor intensive, but it is certainly effort intensive.

Besides SMM you need to do a Word-press blog for the client that includes SNS (Use Ruby on Rails to build – dirt cheap) and gives away killer content, has contests and prizes, and motivates people to return everyday!

Being lazy and throwing money away at the old media then doing a few Twitters doesn’t cut it anymore. (which is actually why I say Twitter is in serious trouble!)

Make a killer blog for the client (perhaps using a persona like Helga of Volkswagen – Look her up on Google). The blogs needs video (suggest U-Stream recorded to YouTube), SNS, chat, free information, excellent and compelling writing, and free giveaways all the time.

That motivates people!

Then your SMM directs people to the blog, not to some boring corporate site that is nothing more than an online company brochure (that is structured like web 1.0) .

This is effective. This s the new way. It is not easy and lazy people who think that throwing money or half-butt efforts at it need not apply.

Like I’ve said many times before, it seems that a lot of these people who claim to be experts at Social Media actually do not “do” Social Media. If you ever get anyone who claims to be an expert, first off ask for their URL’s

Hint: If they do not blog – and do not actively blog at least three times a week – I’d say it’s a 99% chance that they are blowing smoke in your face. Don’t fall for it.

Smart Social media marketers will have a rundown of what they do (excepting for invitation members only sites) as the signature of their e-mails. Here’s mine:

Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Look for these kinds of things when investigating a potential company to help you with marketing. Be leery of companies, big or small, who claim to be experts at Social Media. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Some of my readers know I will be on vacation from tomorrow, but nevertheless the BLOG calls! Tomorrow, I will place diagrams and information tomorrow morning for all of you who have mailed about bit differentiations between Japanese Katakana and Japanese Kanji versus English pertaining to my recent blog.

But, just for a teaser. Consider:

Word (translation)…………………………………Bit count

イギリス (England)……………………………..8 bits

England……………………………………………….7 bits

旅行 (Travel)………………………………………..4 bits

Travel…………………………………………………..6 bits

Data on the Internet consist of bits. It is the way data is stored. This is important to know if you want to run a successful business in Japan.



blog, Social Media, Mixi, Google, Helga, SMM, Mike Rogers, Social Media Services, China, Croatia, England, Travel, bit, bit count, Japan,  Japanese Kanji, Modern Marketing Japan, social media marketing, promo, Japanese Katakana, PR, Twitter, marketing plan, Facebook, Linkedin, airlines, YouTube, U-Stream, e-mail, Lew Rockwell, Mike in Tokyo Rogers, chat, Marketing Japan, web, web 1.0, Volkswagen, Ruby on Rails, Placement, Word Press, mass media, free information, direct marketing,

Marketing Japan: Pool With 1 Million People but No Water?…

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Is the “Monster Pool” fact or fiction?

Japan has a lot of funny and strange things, but one of the funniest is how news is reported completely out of context as the gospel truth.

One such oft-cited example I recall is how, in the late 1980′s CNN would report that melons in Tokyo – that the average Japanese housewife would buy for home – cost $200 each… That wasn’t just a gross exaggeration, it was just plain incorrect.

Tokyo is expensive. It’s not that expensive.

Yep. $200 melons. Notice the gift box packaging

Sure there were $200 melons… But there were also $5 dollar melons too. The housewives bought the $5 dollar melons for home… The $200 dollar melons were sold at stores that are usually near hospitals, and those melons were brought as presents for the well-to-do and their friends convalescing in bed in those hospitals.

People in the west, especially, the well-to-do think nothing of spending $100 or $200 dollars or much more on flowers for someone in the hospital right?

You can’t eat roses. At least one can eat a melon.

Now there’s a buzz about a a video that was uploaded onto YouTube a few years ago about a swimming pool in Tokyo that is so crowded that you cannot see the water! What a zoo of people!

See the YouTube video here

This has caused an Internet sensation…

So much of a sensation that some Tokyoites and even the Japanese Media have claimed that this is not Tokyo, Japan, it is actually China! Japan? China? Which is it?

This has become so much of a controversy that I even had a friend from Germany call me up to try to confirm the story!

Gee, how do I confirm this? Well, I checked the story and the links and I stumbled upon the original link. The original link is at a site called JapanTrends.

Well, lucky me! I just so happens that I am a very good friend with Mr. Michael Keferl, one of the good folks who runs Japan Trends. I called Michael up and was so lucky to catch his as he was at Narita Airport waiting for a flight.

Get this! Michael confirms that this is indeed a video taken in Tokyo. He was there when it was taken. In fact, he took the video! He was proud to say that this is the most viewed video on YouTube that he has ever made. He also said that he has been called a liar and a fraud but he just laughs it off…

“I think the Japanese just don’t like to admit that Japan can be as crowded as China!” Michael added.

Well, so there we have it. Direct from the horses mouth. Video shot in Tokyo at Summerland, as a matter of fact

China is that crowded though most of the time (in my limited experience!) Oh yes. China is scary crowded. I’ve been to Chinese New Year’s before and there was an estimated 4 million people at the festivities packed into one and one half square miles to watch the fireworks that we were lucky enough to watch from our hotel window… Now that was crowded. It was a ocean of people like I’ve never seen before.

I watched from the 3rd floor balcony of our hotel and saw waves of people, at least 400 yards wide in both directions, packed like cattle, marching as far as the eye could see… It was indeed frightening to witness such a mass of humanity; almost enough to cause a panic reaction in me.

So, proof positive that this is Tokyo! End of questioning… Until, at least, next year!

So thanks to my good friend, Michael Keferl and Japan Trends.

Japan Trends is a great place to go see information about Japan stuff and gadgets!

See the original article from 2007 here.



China, Summertime in Hot Tokyo, Japan Trends, CNN, Japan, Marketing Japan, Mike Rogers, Japan, Summertime, Tokyo, Mike in Tokyo Rogers, Lew Rockwell

Marketing Japan: Creating a Buzz Requires Credibility….

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

A good friend of mine once said to me, “Credibility is hard to get but even harder to buy.” When I heard this I thought it was simply genius. It’s so absolutely true.

I’ve been recently reading Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book, “Outliers.” In one section at the front of the book, he writes about how kids get into the Canadian Major Junior A Hockey League; the premier league for children and teens hoping to become professional hockey players.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

Gladwell writes:

You can’t buy your way into Major Junior A hockey. It doesn’t matter who your father or mother is, or who your grandfather was, or what business your family is in. Nor does it matter if you live in the most remote corner of the most northerly province in Canada. If you have the ability, the vast network of hockey scouts and talent spotters will find you, and if you are willing to develop that ability, the system will reward  you.

Gladwell then goes on to point out that there’s a lot of luck and being in the right place at the right time that goes into being successful… But he also delves deeply into working at success and dedicating time and effort.

I’d like to point out that if a kid gets into Major Junior A hockey in Canada, then that kid gets “status.” With Major Junior A hockey comes credibility. And this credibility is impossible to buy.

It’s the same when you are trying to build a buzz for your product or service… Credibility is crucial. Without credibility, you will never build a long-term lasting success. Quality is crucial to credibility.

I am now working with partners on promoting tourism to a former Eastern Block country in Europe. In some circles, this promotion has been extremely difficult. Why? Because twenty years ago, this country was involved in a civil war and many Japanese people still have the image of war when they think of this nation.

We have to change that image among the Japanese. Maybe you have guessed the name of this country already…. A war 20 years ago in Europe? Yes. It had to be one of the countries in former Yugoslavia. I’m talking specifically about Croatia.

Actually, Croatia is nothing like the image that many Japanese people have; a cold and dreary former Soviet Bloc territory. Croatia has a rich history; formerly part of the Hapsburg Empire; formerly Rome. Croatia’s tourism promotional copy is “The Mediterranean the way it used to be.” Croatia has 7 world heritage sites, glorious architecture, fantastic gourmet (including seafood) and more! See some sites here.

But some Japanese still have the image of war.

Recently, two things have greatly helped us to gain trust and credibility among the Japanese. One has been the push from Japanese travel agents for Japanese tourists to visit Croatia. It really helps to show people the tourism and travel brochures made by reputable Japanese companies like Japan Airlines (JAL), All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) recommending Croatia. I mean, if Croatia weren’t safe, they certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

But the most recent thing that I think will be the watershed moment for Croatia tourism will be this December. From this December, Tokyo FM (TFM) will run a station-wide promotion on air and on the Internet (this will include, of course, SNS, blogs, Twitter, Pick, Mixi and Facebook!) The promotion will be for three lucky couples to win a vacation to Croatia including airfare and hotel….

The hotel stay is at one of the most prestigious hotels in all of Europe! It’s the Regent Esplanade Zagreb. See photos here that will drop your jaw.

The Regent Esplanade Zagreb

There’s not a person in Japan over the age of 18 who hasn’t heard of Tokyo FM. Tokyo FM is the flagship station of a 34 station Japan-wide FM network. Tokyo FM is prestige.

Will Croatia become the huge buzz and “place to be” amongst the Japanese within the next two years? That remains to be seen, but Tokyo FM accepting Croatia as a partner for a big Christmas campaign gives Croatia the respect and credibility Croatia needs. With this credibility in hand, it is the final critical factor needed to build the buzz among the Japanese who like to travel.

Like was pointed out at the top of this blog, “Credibility is hard to get, it is even harder to buy.” Tokyo FM agreeing to partner with Croatia is a key to credibility.

Now, with this credibility, they can get to work on building a buzz.



Croatia, SNS, ANA, Europe, Twitter, Social Media, Outliers, Japan, Christmas campaign, All Nippon Airways, credibility, Mike Rogers, Tokyo FM, U-Stream, Tokyo, Pick, Regent Esplanade Zagreb, blogs, Internet, Japan, Mike in Tokyo Rogers, Malcolm Gladwell, The Mediterranean the way it used to be, JAL, Japan Airlines, Japan Travel Bureau, JTB, Marketing Japan

Marketing Japan: July 2011: The Last Nail in the Coffin of FM Radio in Japan….

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

I rode the Tokyo subway today and saw a sign inside the car that notified the passengers that as of July 24, 2011, terrestrial television stations will no longer broadcast analogue signals in Japan and will finally make the switch to digital.

This signals the final nail in the coffin of many of the FM radio stations in this country and the collapse of TV Tokyo and TBS.

I predict that InterFM will either be bankrupt or sold to a new owner by 2014 and TV Tokyo will be in the same situation: insolvent or absorbed by another company by 2016.

I’d like to explain why in this post but first let me give you some important details involving the background of broadcast signals so that you may have a better understanding and why I think this way. Let’s see if you come to the same conclusions that I have.

Let’s start with AM and FM radio.

AM is called “Amplitude Modulation” and its signal is wavy. When an AM signal comes to an obstacle like a mountain or a tall building, it bounces off of it in many directions and continues going. This is why, in many areas of the United States, there are some AM stations whose broadcasts can be heard over 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) away. The AM signal is like an ocean wave so, if there are no mountains to make the signal deflect into the heavens, the signals will bounce along the earth’s surface.

This makes AM radio great for talk and the friend of people who drive long-distance trucks.

FM is called “Frequency Modulation” and it goes in a straight line. When an FM signal hits a mountain, tall building or other obstacle, it stops. We’ve all had the experience that our favorite FM station drops off when we go through a tunnel or through a valley. That’s the shortcoming of FM radio.

What many people do not know is that terrestrial TV uses the same FM frequency for its broadcasts too.

People who were brought up in Japan may remember from their childhood small portable transistor radio that had the AM / FM band on them but also played TV channels NHK and NHK Educational (1 & 3).  If you understand that analogue TV uses FM frequency to broadcast, then you now understand why those old transistor radio’s had TV channels on them.

This is important so keep this in mind.

On July 24, 2011, the TV channels will stop broadcasting analogue signals. What this really means is that they will stop using the FM band for transmitting their services and go to terrestrial digital.

FM, Frequency Modulation, is a broadcast wave. Digital broadcasting is not a wave at all. Digital broadcasting is a completely different technology. Digital broadcasting is not a wave, it is binary data.

I suppose that some of you have seen binary data before. It’s a series of zero’s and one’s and looks something like this:




That is binary data. The reason why digital broadcasting is so clear and high quality is that, with binary data, it is either “on” or “off” unlike an AM or FM signal that can be blocked or deflected by tall buildings, mountains or even trees. Binary Data is crystal clear.

Now, how does this spell the end of FM radio? Bear with me here, cause now we’re getting to the nitty gritty.

The future of FM radio doesn’t lay in what they broadcast or how they up the ante of quality of content (but, of course, it will always be a competition between stations for dwindling audience and sponsorship dollars)…

The future of FM radio depends on what Toyota does.

That’s right. Toyota is the one who decides what is going to happen. In my opinion, it is obvious that FM  is is serious trouble and that we are now witnessing the end of an era; and it’s happening, in slow motion, right in front of our eyes.

But, don’t take my word for it, decide for yourself. Let me explain further…

Think about this: Where do most people listen to FM radio? In cars, right?

The Japanese government and all the big manufacturers in this country, Sony, Panasonic, etc. (who, by the way, all have an incestuous relationship with each other and Toyota in stock holdings) are pushing for the digital conversion big time. These manufacturers need their flagging fortunes to get an injection of sales and profits that new broadcasting and new equipment will generate. Digital equipment costs anywhere from $500 – $2,000 (USD) a set. The Japanese manufacturers want and need for the Japanese public to go whole-hog into digital broadcasting. They need the public to dispose of their analogue equipment and buy the new digital equipment… (By the way, a cursory check of analogue equipment at Bic Camera the other day – what little I could find – showed that all the analogue products were all manufactured outside of Japan).

If digital broadcasting is a failure in this country, then it’s going to hurt Japanese manufacturing for a very long time… The analogue equipment I saw was all manufactured in Malaysia, Indonesia, and I found some from Taiwan (which was surprising).

Now, how does Toyota fit into this equation?

Imagine your car dashboard. It has a GPS, CD player, and television/radio set all built together. Most people have an analogue device (with terrible TV reception!) From July 2011 there will be no cars that come with that device. They will all be digital.

After July 2011, on your dashboard, you will have a digital GPS, Internet, digital TV and digital radio. Want to do Social Media, YouTube, Twitter, U-Stream, blog? Got you covered. Need to Google or Yahoo search? Sure. When you need traffic conditions, just a click on your GPS will give you up to the minute details on traffic and road conditions. All the TV channels? No problem. Throw on top of that 6 digital radio channels and, of course, a CD player and probably an iPod connection, and you have the next generation of car entertainment system. (In Japan, as of now, there are 6 digital radio channels that are shown on CS or BS television. These channels broadcast soft jazz and classical music).

Toyota HD Digital Screen.

All sorts of fun things like iPod, digital TV and digital radio…

Do you see FM or AM radio? I don’t

Remember I wrote that digital signals are binary data and analogue is a broadcasting wave? This is important now.

I ask you, dear reader, to consider; Since Sony, Panasonic, etc. and companies like Toyota and Nissan all have an incestuous relationship as to stock holdings and company ownership, and they desperately need to have the Japanese public buy their digital devices that cost at least $500 each… And digital devices receive binary data and are not analogue compatible… Do you think that Toyota will cut a hole in your dashboard, just under your $500 digital GPS, TV, Internet, radio device in order to install a $1 dollar made in Indonesia FM tuner?

I don’t, and I think it is insane to think otherwise. Actually, the notion is laughable, isn’t it?

So, if people can no longer hear FM radio in their cars, then where are they going to listen to it? In the subways with their white earplugs through their iPods and iPhones?… Get serious. Nobody does that now!

If there are any folks reading this who remember how popular short wave was way back when compared to what it is today, then they have a good idea what I think the future of FM radio in Japan looks like….

No FM radio in the car spells doom for the FM stations because if no one listens in their cars, then FM will have no listeners at all… No listeners means no sponsors. No sponsors means no money. No money means no FM…

I cannot imagine how they will survive the next 5 ~ 10 years.

If I were a station like J-Wave – that still has good ratings and high listenership – I’d get into negotiations real soon for an open digital radio channel… And, no, the license and digital conversion are not cheap. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars. The smaller stations will never afford it, so they are dead.

And that’s why July 2011 is the last nail in the coffin of FM radio in Japan.

But what about AM radio you say? Ah, that’s the interesting contradiction. AM radio will probably survive. Because AM car radio is the bottom of the pit for basic car equipment (besides nothing at all)… Almost every Tokyo Taxi has an AM radio in it. Few have FM radios.

Tomorrow I will explain why this entire situation bodes ill for TV Tokyo and TBS TV.



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Marketing Japan: George Williams Uses Social Media to Promote Concert Series….

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

The big summer concerts in Japan are having a hard time selling tickets… In fact, from what I hear (and I have excellent sources) ticket sales for Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic are dismal at best.

The word on the street is that ticket sales for any shows are bad but there is one ticket that is impossible to get as all four shows are completely sold out!

George Williams at GG10 July 21, 2010 (photo by Yoji Kawada)

Four four days this week, Music On! TV and host George Williams have held the 9th annual “GG” concert series this year at Shibuya Ax and this is the hottest ticket in Tokyo.

GG10, as this year’s shows are called, have a logical, well-planned lineup (see line up here) – along with a crowd pleasing ticket price of ¥4,200 (about $45 USD). This blows Summer Sonic out of the water! Summer Sonic has a artist lineup that probably pleases no one (Who in the hell wants to pay ¥29,800 (about $320!) to see Offspring open for Jay-Z?)

On the other hand… It might be better than going to the other side of Japan and spending over ¥82,000 ($900 USD) to go see Fuji Schlock where a bunch of geriatric old folks relive the crap music of the late 60′s and early 70′s…

Not only did the Music on! TV folks do a superb job of lining up a killer roster of artists, they promoted the shows well and they were sold out long ago.

Eat your hearts out Creative Man and Smash!

On top of this, I was extremely impressed as to how George Williams used his own Internet media page, “The Music Revolution Starts Here” to promote the shows real-time and give us updates using Social Media such as, Pick, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, and U-Stream. See George’s The Music Revolution Starts Here, er, to go to that page click this entire sentence….

So, while all of Japan withers in this economic slump, George Williams and Music On TV sell out four shows in a row… They used a great mix of old media and Internet to sell the tickets and the great line-up gave them killer credibility. Sorry, Summer Sonic, but no one wants to pay to see Taylor Swift open for Stevie Wonder… Jeez! What a lame-o line up!..

I wonder why companies like Creative Man don’t understand the simple concept of “Credibility is hard to get. It is even harder to buy”?

On top of this, George Williams uses the Internet and Social Media to give the concert goers – as well as the unlucky folks -who wanted to get tickets but couldn’t – a chance to see what’s going on back stage! Wow!

That’s not just cool… That’s intelligent business!


Keywords: The Music Revolution Starts Here, Tokyo, Pick, Twitter, U-Stream, Social Media, Summer Sonic, Music On! TV, Stevie Wonder, YouTube, blog, blogs, Internet, Japan, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Offspring, Fuji Rock

Marketing Japan: Asking Steve Jobs to Retire!

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Remember that blog I wrote a few days ago complaining about Steve Jobs’ whining? Well, it seems that others are now getting in on the action.

Steve Jobs from the good old days

Here’s a post at ZDNet asking for Steve Jobs to retire!

These guys really go for the jugular… OK, I don’t, but I’m not a tekkie… I guess ZDNet can. From the article:

Friday’s event was deeply disturbing. There you were, up there on stage, mocking genuinely valid concerns over the fundamental performance of your flagship product, arrogantly denying credible analysis by some of the most reputable product testers on the planet, telling members of the press that you love your users so much that you’ve built 300 Apple retail stores just for them.

The whole thing was embarrassing. It was beneath you.

These guys really blast Jobs!

Well, OK… I’ll take credit for lavishing on the complaints first, but I won’t go as far to ask for Jobs to retire.

Even though, all things considered, I guess he should.

When a guy like Steve Jobs loses the confidence of the Tekkies and geeks, I guess he’s finished. What do barbeque chefs say? “Put a fork in ‘em. They’re done.”

Or, perhaps, if Jobs leaves, then Apple will begin the slow decline since it seems that Apple is built around a Cult of Personality.

We’ll see.

Marketing Japan: Croatia Tourism Launches Internet Funnel Site for Japan……

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Croatia is the Mediterranean the way it used to be. And it sure is!

The Croatian Tourism Bureau in Japan gets my award for being one of the first to capitalize on using a .jp domain for the purposes of upping their Internet traffic and creating a funnel to solve problems involved with using a .com domain with a .jp sub folder in Japan.


On Friday night, the Croatian Tourism Bureau launched and it looks fantastic! Croatia is definitely fast becoming the next place I want to visit on vacation. Check out the site, it is massive and has tons of beautiful photographs of just how beautiful Croatia is.

See the new site here.

Croatia is on the Adriatic Sea and was, long ago, part of the Roman Empire so there’s lots of architecture left over from those days… And, since Croatia was part of Eastern Europe for so long and has only opened up to the west for the last twenty years or so, the scenery, landscape and architecture are still pristine.

Imagine what Italy must have looked like 100 years ago… That’s what Croatia looks like today. This is where I’m taking my children on vacation next time.

The Croatian Tourism Bureau took our advice and created the Internet funnel. Smart move. As explained in a former post at this very blog, in a search, and must compete for numbers of results but they must also compete for quality of results on a search. That is why a .com/jp URL is not efficient at all.

This is Japan. Both Google and Yahoo must give priority on a search to local businesses in order to survive. That’s not just because of what they want to do, that’s smart business.

As I wrote on this very same blog concerning this very same subject:

There are other problems with a .com domain. For example, consider this; Japanese kanji are two bits. The English alphabet is one bit. So, a search engine that is designed for the west – say, – even with Japanese kanji inserted in the SEO – will often return “noise” if a Japanese person searches for, say, “travel in Europe” when they write down the search in Japanese kanji… I’ll try it for you here: 海外旅行… A computer not configured for Japanese will return this as junk. It might look like Hieroglyphics.

The answer is to create an “Internet Funnel” using a .jp link to lay next to, or on top of, the current .com domain and act as a net or a funnel to bring in the Japanese traffic. The funnel is completely set-up in Japanese with Japanese SEO and key words. It is for Japan only. It’s a simple concept that works every time.

So, for example, my USA company URL in Japan may be: This puts my company URL in a sub folder so searches will not prioritize searches for me…. This hurts my business.

But! If I create a as a funnel, it captures all Japanese traffic for me first, then directs to my .com. This increases my rating; and I don’t have to touch my basic .com site at all… The funnels all local traffic to my main domain and then a click of a button delivers my traffic to the home base. Simple and deadly efficient.

So hat’s off to Croatia Tourism for their new .jp domain. I will keep you posted on the results as they come in. In the meantime, go check out the site. It is user friendly (of course, we helped them design it) and it solves the problem of HQ getting upset because it doesn’t touch their page at all…. Like I said, it is a funnel. It catches and directs folks in Japan quickly and more efficiently to the main page!

After all, that’s what an Internet funnel is for! Everyone’s happy!

This is not heaven or Hawaii… It’s Croatia!


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