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.
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.
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
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
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.