Social Gaming Network Gree Issues Upward Revision, 40 Billion Yen Plus

Gree announced today that it revised up its annual sales outlook from its original forecast 90-100 billion yen(US$1.15-1.28 billion) to 130-140 billion yen(US$1.67-1.80 billion). Net income is expected to increase 11 billion yen (US$141 million) as well.

This upward revision is due to higher rate of social game monetization, the release said.

Reason for revision

Fiscal 2011 Q1, as seen in the last fiscal year, has shown stable paid service sales, with
monetization of social games on our social networking service (SNS) GREE increasing at a
higher rate than originally expected. Considering this level, we have revised our annual
estimates for Net Sales, Operating Profit, Ordinary Profit and Net Income, which are
expected to exceed our previous estimates.

We have considered increased costs for enhancing data centers, increased advertising costs,
increased labor costs and recruiting costs with the expanding business, and increased costs
related to offices overseas such as the Americas, Europe, and Asia, in addition to recent
financial performance when revising our estimates

from the release

Monetize Hacks #3 Report (part 1)

24th night at Roppongi Hills, the third Monetize Hacks meeting was held by some web directors from Livedoor and Hatena by welcoming 120 web directors and entrepreneurs in and around Tokyo.

3rd-monetize-hacks-screen

The first monetize Hacks [J] was called for web directors greeting and exchanging ideas around 15 people, the second one [J] was a group competition style with 30 people, now the third one with seminar style is with 120 web people who are keening on how to maximize website monetization in Japanese websphere.

The main theme is “User Billing”. Seven Japanese popular web services directors/leaders made presentations.

1. Yahoo! Japan Research [J] (Asiajin articles)

Yahoo Japan's Logo

Researcher of Yahoo! Japan Research Masao Kakihara gave a general view of service monetization strategy.

2. Pixiv (Asiajin articles)

pixiv-log

Takanori Katagiri told Pixiv and its monetizing experiences.

Pixiv is now getting a million users, 0.7 bilion page views/month and 15,000 new illustrations per day. 140 servers supports it.

Currently not so profitable (yet). They combine banner ads, contents match(Overture), Amazon affiliate, membership fee (525yen/month).

He also talked how to increase affiliate income by pushing well-sold items heavily.

3. Unoh

unohlogo

Unoh is a 15 people company which is running Photozou(photo sharing), NeoAd(mobile ad), Machi-Tsuku (mobile game). CEO Shintaro Yamada‘s talk was about their new mobile geo-location game Machi-Tsuku monetization. How fixed-rate billing and item-sales systems make difference on sales and user behaviour.

He pointed out how avatar/item charging services (like Gree) are designed carefully not to exchange money and virtual points directly, which is often done in social game sites in west, which seem less successful on profit-wise.

4. Kayac (Asiajin articles)

kayac-logo

Yui Tamada, director, Kayac said “No one can predict what service takes off. Small start, get user feedbacks.” They impose themselves to create 99 new services in one year, which results making one service every 2-3 days.

Combination of web application consulting and a lot of original services for selling brand works effectively as free advertising/technology-showcase.

Success stories: Wonderfl (online Flash builder), Koe-bu (voice social network community), Pocket Friend Conti (mobile avatar)

“Make things first, monetization comes later.” “Originality is important.”

(continued to the part 2)