Japan’s ringtone publisher Dwango partners with pair of media giants


[Update] The group has announced that UK-based play performance group Whole Hog Theatre will conduct a Japan tour of Princess Mononoke in April and May in partnership with the Studio Ghibli animation studio. Dwango’s CEO is currently working at the studio as a ‘trainee’ to explore a possible collaboration.


Dwango, a Tokyo-based ringtone distributor and the parent company of Japanese video sharing service Nico Nico Douga, announced today that Japanese publishing giant Kadokawa Group and Nippon Television Network would take a major stake of its shares. The company’s largest shareholder prior to this announcement, music company Avex Group, will now be the third largest shareholder.

Dwango has been partnered with Avex for seven years, but it has been exploring other partnerships in different businesses to diversify its service portfolio. Kagokawa also recently acquired Skyscraper Inc. from Dwango, a company which primarily handles ads for the Nico Nico Douga video service.

A group of ten companies [1] including Dwango and Nippon TV Network will unveil a major joint project of some kind on Tuesday afternoon. The press briefing will be broadcast live on the web on Nico Nico Douga starting at 2pm Tuesday, Japan Time.

  1. The ten companies are Dwango, Nippon TV Network, Nelke Planning (musical production), the Yomiuri Shimbun (newspaper), Tokyo FM, Lawson (a convenience store), E-plus (an online ticketing service), Dentsu, Aiia (an apparel and puzzle game publisher), and BS Nippon (a satellite broadcaster).  ↩