The Kadokawa Group, which aims to become a "Mega Software Publisher," is moving beyond its existing publishing business to achieve sustainable growth in film and software (which includes websites and mobile sites), and by developing business overseas with an emphasis on Asia.
Kadokawa Shoten is a well established Japanese publisher of books, Mangas and Manga magazines.
Kadokawa Shoten was established on November 10, 1945 by Genyoshi Kadokawa. The company's first publication imprint, Kadokawa Bunko, was published in 1949. The company went public on April 2, 1954. In 2003, Kadokawa Shoten was renamed Kadokawa Holdings, transferring the existing publishing businesses to Kadokawa Shoten. On July 1, 2006, the parent company was renamed to Kadokawa Group Holdings, and inherited the management and integration businesses within Kadokawa Shoten. In January 2007, Kadokawa Group Holdings inherited the management and integration businesses within Kadokawa Shoten. The magazine businesses was transferred to the Kadokawa Magazine Group. The video game divisions of Kadokawa Shoten, ASCII Media Works and Enterbrain were merged into Kadokawa Games. Since the founding of Kadokawa Haruki in 1976, Kadokawa was also active in movie production.
Kadokawa Group Holdings include currently 43 affiliated companies, with main activities in publishing, movies and cross media publications.
Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012
Facing a difficult overall environment and “tumultuous” outlook within Japan, Kadokawa reported "favorable" results and a return to profitability in 2011.
Revenues from the book business rose for the ninth consecutive year in 2011 on brisk sales of anime-based “light novels” (bunku), representing 42,2 % of overall sales.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:
Kadokawa defined its strategic vision to become a “Mega Software Publisher” and “Mega Applications Provider,” and to become a “platform provider” in the digital era.
An internal merger brought together Kadokawa Shoten Co., Ltd. and Kadokawa Pictures Inc.
Overall, Kadokawa has implemented five key restructuring measures to “meet the requirements of the new digital media era, including e-books, and to pursue further growth as a Mega Software Publisher.”
Perceiving considerable opportunities in China, Kadokawa established Guangzhou Tianwen Kadokawa Animation & Comics Co., Ltd. (non-consolidated) in 2010. This joint venture was founded in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province through a capital alliance with the Hunan Publishing Investment Holding Group, a Chinese state-owned publishing conglomerate.
Kadokawa recently launched the e-Book distribution platform Book Walker, which was developed in-house with formal approval from Apple. Kadokaw plans to use Book Walker as the foundation for a major entertainment platform, having acquired Dwango Co. Ltd. and formed the business alliance GREE, Inc.
In April 2011, Kadokawa also entered the Android market, overseen by Kadokawa Contents Gate Co. A new service, Fan+, was launched in cooperation with the Japanese TV company NTT.
Bestselling authors & titles:
Sales were strong for the paperback title Yoake no Machi de (a movie by the same name was released in 2011) and also the paperback titles Mioka and Tsukumogami Kashimasu (television dramas based on these two novels have been created). Business-related book sales were solid as well, with several new titles becoming social topics, including Shiranaito Hajiwokaku Sekaino Daimondai 2, the follow-up edition to the bestseller released in the previous fiscal year, and The True Nature of Deflation, which presents a new angle on the Japanese economy. Sales also rose sharply for the 2010 Honya Taisho (The Booksellers Prize) award winner Tenchi Meisatsu and the 2010 Manga Taisho award winner Thermae Romae series.
In the publishing division, a main focus has been put on the children's market (notably with the launch of the Kadokawa Tsubasa Bunko imprint in 2009), as well as women and the elderly. Another plan has been the marketing of popular characters, notably with a collaboration between Chukei Publishing and Kadokawa Shoten.
Key points for analysis & conclusions:
Kadokawa, by defining its strategy of becoming a Mega Software or Applications Company, and by starting a number of cooperations and internal developments, aims at combining all digital media formats and distribution channels among its content businesses.
Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.