The Phile-web has, in both name and reality, begun to function as the portal site of the audiovisual industry. The number of unique users has reached 1.4 million a month, and the site gets many visitors from overseas as well. It was launched in July 1999. The name comes from a magazine published by our company called Home Theater Phile-"phile" meaning lover or enthusiast of something.
At that time, following the appearance of Windows 95, the world was beginning to change dramatically. We were entering the unchartered age of the Internet. I realized that the impact on the publishing industry, and magazines especially, was going to be colossal. Daily, weekly, and monthly publications, and information-oriented journals in particular, were probably going to fold up. The shorter their publication cycles, the more likely they were to die out. Eventually there would be a publishing recession, and the publishing industry would enter a wintry period. I also realized that distributors of publications would face hardship if they fell behind the times, which was why it was so essential to jump into the world of the Internet as quickly as possible.
From the start I was not interested in the Internet world of corporate websites or homepages. My understanding was that there would be no future unless we went for a portal site. In addition, I believed that the operation of a portal site would be a litmus test for our company motto of "contributing to the development of the industry." Realizing the importance of making it function properly, I went ahead and commercialized the Phile-web in June 2000.
I raised operating funds of \3 million a month by going around leading makers, one company after another. I didn't touch any existing funds in our company at all, so the Phile-web started as a completely independent enterprise. Again I would like to express my gratitude to companies in our industry for their cooperation.
Although the sum of \3 million a month might not seem very much, look at the Phile-web now, 17 years after its birth. It has grown into a monstrous service with 1.4 million unique users a month and more than 12 million page views a month. Amid the recession in the publishing industry, this is an amazing achievement. It is indeed the acme of the Internet.
It was with firm conviction that I set about promoting the Phile-web. From 2013 to 2015 in particular, I implemented grand reforms that were almost like a rebirth of the site, and in that period we achieved a growth rate of nearly 170%. The SP business, which we started in 2007, has got on track as well, and together with the Phile-web, they now have an equal share with our existing publishing business. In this way, we have managed to keep the repercussions of the publishing recession down to about 10%-15%. From now on, by combining real and virtual, I believe we can create a new publishing setup.
Nearly 70 years after our founding the basic stance of our company of "contributing to the development of the industry" remains absolutely unchanged, and today this mission is being firmly fulfilled by the Phile-web.
In industry circles some people tend to think that the Phile-web is our company website, but they should see it as a portal site representing the industry as a whole and coexisting with the industry. At the same time they should understand that it is not an accidental success story but an example of essentially future-oriented management. Through the Phile-web, our company will continue, with a universal spirit, to do its utmost for the development of the industry.