Top Authority


‘Tis the season for awards.
Our company has constantly been making modest efforts to position the awards that we sponsor as the top standards in the industry. In the last issue, I described the basic philosophy of our two awards, the Visual Grand-Prix and Audio Excellence Award, and their universal value. With the announcement of the latest results, I am pleased, and relieved, to say that we are entering the territory of perfection in terms of global development, actual sales promotion in stores, and so on.

Visual Grand-Prix
The screening results were announced on November 17, the publication date of AV Review. That means they were kept sealed for about a month from October 19, when the judges made their decisions. On November 17 the results were simultaneously announced domestically on Yahoo! News, on the websites and in the stores of Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera, and on the Japanese edition of our company’s Phile-web site, and internationally on the English edition of the Phile-web.
This time we especially made efforts to strengthen store support. In collaboration with Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera, we distributed leaflets with the logo of each of these companies in all of their respective stores to promote sales. These leaflets spread awareness of the VGP and prompted customers to make purchases by giving them a sense of reassurance. Naturally, leaflets have also been distributed to the other 80 stores that cooperated in the screening, so the sales-promotion effect in stores no doubt increased significantly.
The true value of the Visual Grand-Prix lies in its goal of achieving specific results in terms of actual sales in stores, and that is why it has become a top authority.
At the same time, in January we will announce the results to China through the Chinese edition, in Mandarin, of Home Theater Phile, thereby spreading recognition of the award in the rapidly growing Chinese market. Needless to say, there is a lot of access to the Phile-web site from China, and the publication of the magazine will add further impetus to this trend. Incidentally, in October the monthly number of hits to the Phile-web site increased to 200 million, and the ripple effect is immeasurable.
The Visual Grand-Prix has already started preparing for the next round of awards in the summer of 2008. Our aim is to create even more definite conditions in 2008 and reach further heights as top authority in both name and reality.

Audio Excellence Award
The Audio Excellence Award, which is more specialized than the Visual Grand-Prix, is the only award selected by a panel of judges comprising audio critics and stores. For nearly 30 years it has operated assiduously toward becoming the top authority in the industry. In other words, the Audio Excellence Award has been consistent and has not blurred at all. The name, of course, has not changed, and the policy has remained the same for close to three decades. The screening results were widely announced via Yahoo! News, the Phile-web site in both Japanese and English, and the Chinese edition of Analog, and our hope from now on is to elevate the award to international status.
Our company is advocating a “pure audio renaissance,” and recently pure audio has indeed been in the spotlight. In this respect, the gold prize awards to the TAD R-1 and the DP-700 can be described as extremely significant. In particular, the vigor of Pioneer is surely a beacon for the industry as a whole, including the VGP.
My hunch that pure audio is moving into higher gear, from contraction to development, is a truly pleasing one.
I hope that we can further raise our two awards to the status of top authority.