Today I attended the second Asiajin meetup. Asiajin is an English language blog that covers what is going on in the Japanese internet space. About 20 people participated, with over half the attendees being Japanese. This surprised me, as the blog’s target is English speakers, I thought more of the attendees would be non-Japanese.
Akky Akimoto, the co-founder of Asiajin, started the event with a presentation discussing the state of Asiajin. He revealed the site has around 6000 subscribers, who are distributed around the world. The top two countries for visitors are Japan (about 15) and America (about 10). He also stated that although Asiajin is a hobby blog, they are looking for sponsors. They have been going after Japanese companies looking to expand their presence internationally, but so far have had little success.
Akky’s presentation was followed by Yosuke Akamatsu presenting about his mobile video broadcasting app Twitcasting. Unlike other video broadcasting services, Twitcasting only allows for mobile to mobile broadcasting. Because of this, the service performs much better on mobile than his competitors. The app has experienced the most success in Japan, where they have 10% market share of all user video broadcasting services (this includes PC traffic for the other services). So far the app hasn’t been so successful in America. The American version includes advertising through the iAd platform, but although there is a good clickthrough rate, the revenue isn’t enough to cover the costs. Future ideas for monetization include licensing a video broadcasting SDK and creating more content based apps. Yosuke ended his presentation with a cool demo where he strapped an iPhone to an RC car and used his app’s broadcasting capability to control the RC car while using an iPad to navigate.
After Yosuke’s presentation, Akky gave another presentation, this time about SNS in Japan. He talked about how despite Japanese SNS having small size compared to Facebook, they have a much higher ARPU. Of the three main Japanese SNS, mixi, mobage town, and gree, only mixi follows the Facebook model. The other two are more like social gaming platforms, and also produce their own content. We had a discussion about what really constitutes a SNS, and are mobage and gree really SNS. Although we didn’t really reach any conclusion, the discussion was enjoyable.
After the event officially ended, most of the participants headed out together for food and drinks where we continued a lively discussion. Overall, the small size and quality of attendees made the event quite enjoyable to me, and I look forward to the next event.