serkan AT kantan-games.co.jp

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Featuring Japanese Celebrities: GREE Is Starting A Paid Newsletter Service

Japanese business daily The Nikkei is reporting that GREE is to start a paid newsletter service called Magari as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, February 19).

The newsletter will not focus on games but on Japanese celebrities: apparently, subscribers can expect original content in the form of text, video, voice, and pictures.

What may sound weird at first to non-Japanese people is not so surprising news over here, given that there are quite a few local celebrities (models, singers, etc.) in Japan that have been maintaining blogs on GREE’s domestic platform for years. Paid newsletters are not uncommon either.

In the US, for example, stars rather tweet (if at all) than blog – while in Japan, a lot of movie stars, singers, etc. do both (and use more social media, like LINE). Some blogs run by celebrities, especially on CyberAgent‘s Ameba network, boast incredible traffic.

As can be expected, the GREE newsletter content is planned to go beyond what the celebrities share through “open” social media, addressing “hardcore” fans.

Magari will start with round 20 celebrities, including i.e. comedian Atsushi Tamura or actress and model Kaori Manabe.

The Nikkei says GREE will price newsletters between 315 – 1,050 yen per month, depending on the celebrity.

The context here is that Japan’s social gaming market is expected to see slower growth going forward, GREE’s financial situation isn’t as good as it used to be, and that both GREE and rival DeNA are increasingly looking at business opportunities outside the gaming sector as of late.

GREE in Japan, for example, is running a picture sharing service, started offering a social TV service and got into merchandising with a separate subsidiary late last year.

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.