Basic Philosophy


Ahead of the year-end sales campaign, the screenings for the Visual Grand-Prix and the Audio Excellence Award have been held, and many outstanding products have received recognition. The most pleasing thing about this year’s contests was that the number of entries from makers exceeded last year’s figure and reached about 600 items. This portends a lively year-end campaign that we can look forward to with much expectation.

The names of the awards sponsored by our company are not capped by any of our magazine titles. The reason is that the philosophy behind the awards stems from our company’s corporate philosophy of “contributing to the constructive development of the industry.” Therefore, universality is important. The first mission, the basic philosophy, is the development of the industry.

What does “the development of the industry” mean? It means that both retail stores and makers achieve development with the aim of developing the final consumers. With the end users in mind, makers engage enthusiastically in manufacturing and endeavor to meet user needs. Retail stores deliver the desired products to customers with sincerity. These actions and systems must be rooted in a basic philosophy that has nothing to do with short-term profiteering.

At the same time, I believe that the sponsor of the awards must fulfill its mission by continuing to thoroughly strengthen its media and carrying on relentless efforts in the direction of even greater universality. A firm response is necessary for this purpose.

Let me talk about the Visual Grand-Prix. For this award, recognition is necessary of just how huge the visual market is, and marketing is essential in this respect. In the screening process, I sometimes get to talk about the market situation. The fact of the matter is that Japanese visual products have gone beyond the domestic market, so demands relating to them have globalized as well.

Accordingly, we have been strengthening our media for transmitting the content of the award. One of these is the Phile-web, which we launched in 2000 and have been earnestly upgrading in terms of content. The Phile-web has grown to such an extent that the number of hits is now 200 million a month. Seven years ago, in my New Year’s address, I declared to our employees and to the industry that only publishing companies that have Web strength will survive, and that, we can say, has become the reality.

At the same time as we have been strengthening our position on the Web, we have also been adding color to our print media in order to attract the Web generation. Our company’s monthly AV Review, bimonthly Home Theater Phile, and quarterly Analog are completely colored; the quarterly Audio Accessory is 70% colored from November; and this magazine, Senka 21, is 80% colored. In terms of strategy as well, it is now commonly accepted that media are colored, and, I am happy to say, the value of our magazines is further increasing.

The results of the Visual Grand-Prix, which are transmitted by our Web and printed media, guarantee the excellence of products in stores that carry the Visual Grand-Prix mark. Through the multiplier effect of the Web and print media, the Visual Grand-Prix mark is a reassuring sign that prods shoppers into making purchases. The purchasing ratio definitely rises for these products.

Through this strengthening of collaboration with distribution, and also by transmitting information to Taiwan and other Chinese-speaking regions via a Chinese edition of Home Theater Phile and to the whole world via the English version of the Phile-web, we are promoting the globalization of the Visual Grand-Prix. For that reason, the responsibility is enormous. At any rate, we must develop the award naturally, without deviating from the basic philosophy.