UD No.1 intended to underwrite original content

TOKYO — Broadband and media conglom Usen dissolved its first content fund on Tuesday, as well as the subsid that was operating it, after the fund raised just Y6 billion ($56.6 million) of an expected $283 million.

Launched on Jan. 31, 2006, the fund, called UD No.1, was intended to underwrite original content produced by the Usen Group. Usen contributed 36.5% of this total, while group companies, led by distrib Gaga, kicked in another 13.5%. The remaining 50% came from Daiwa Securities SMBC and Daiwa Securities Group.

The prime beneficiaries were Gaga’s pic production subsid Gaga Films and Usen’s GyaO Internet video portal.

Among the content generated by the fund was “Night Head Genesis,” a 24-episode toon series produced by Gaga and Usen and released on GyaO in June 2006.

Usen has changed its contents investment strategy, opting to join production consortiums to spread the risk rather than produce contents in house.

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