×

Kadokawa and Dwango to Merge

TOKYO — Media conglomerate Kadokawa and video portal provider Dwango have announced their merger, effective Oct. 1.

The aim is to combine Kadokawa’s strengths in content, including pics, comics, animation, magazines and books, with Dwango’s online expertise.

The new company, Kadokawa Dwango, will be formed through a stock swap, with one Kadokawa share worth 1.168 shares in the new entity, while the smaller Dwango will exchange its shares one for one. The president of the new merged company will be Kadokawa adviser Tatsuo Sato, while the chairman will be Nobuo Kawakami, who currently occupies that post at Dwango.

“All contents will eventually be either on the Net or digitalized,” said Kawakami at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. “If a company that has content also has a platform for digitally distributing them, it will make profits more easily. On the other hand, if it doesn’t have such a platform, its profits will decline.”

Launched as a publisher in 1945, Kadokawa emerged in the 1970s under former prexy Haruki Kadokawa as a leading exponent of the “read the novel, see the movie” strategy. Haruki was deposed in 1994 following a drug arrest. His brother Tsuguhiko took over, while keeping Kadokawa an active player in the movie biz.

Popular on Variety

Among recent Kadokawa pics is the Mari Asato psycho-shocker “Bilocation,” which had its European premiere at the recently ended Udine Far East Film Festival. Another is the Hiroshi Shinagawa caper comedy “One Third,” which took the top prize at this year’s Okinawa International Movie Festival.

Dwango operates the Nico Nico Douga video portal site, which had nearly two 2.17 million “premium” (paying) and 37.58 million “regular” (nonpaying) members as of the end of last year. It also supplies music and game apps for mobile devices.

The two companies first established capital ties in 2011, with Kadokawa’s stake in Dwango rising to 12.2% as of the end of the 2013 fiscal year while Dwango had a 2.49% share of Kadokawa. Merger talks first began about three year ago but went slowly due to Kadokawa’s complex corporate structure.

More Digital

  • Activision-Blizzard-Overwatch-League-Grand-Finals-2018

    YouTube Scores Exclusive Streaming for Activision Blizzard's E-Sports, Including Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues

    YouTube landed a multiyear deal as the exclusive live-streaming partner for Activision Blizzard’s e-sports events worldwide, including Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports. The agreement (which excludes China) promises to give a big boost to YouTube Gaming, the video giant’s dedicated home for all things related to games. It’s also a loss for [...]

  • Grammy Moments Brandi Carlile John Legend

    What's a Grammy Moment Worth? Brandi Carlile, John Legend, Label Execs Weigh In

    In simpler times, an artist could see album sales spike to over 500,000 in the days after a Grammy Awards broadcast appearance. That was Santana’s experience in 2000. Following a performance on the show and eight Grammy wins, “Supernatural” flew off the shelves — a gold certification from one key look. Today, that seems downright [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Sets Up Italian Office in Rome (EXCLUSIVE)

    After opening its doors in Paris last week, Netflix is setting up an office in Rome, Variety can reveal. The streaming giant has confirmed that it will move its Italian team, which is now based in Amsterdam, to new offices in the Italian capital, where they are currently seeking a space. The process will take [...]

  • Jill Dickerson - Snap

    Snap Taps OWN's Jill Dickerson to Lead Unscripted Programming

    Jill Dickerson has left OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network after more than a decade to join Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, as a senior member of the Snap Originals team. A seasoned reality TV exec, Dickerson will help lead the development of Snap’s docu-series and unscripted programming and is based at the company’s Santa [...]

  • Deadspin - Jim Rich

    Deadspin to Relaunch Under New Editor Jim Rich, Following Mass Staff Resignation

    Deadspin, the irreverant sports news and opinion digital-media brand that has been dormant since last November, is going to get re-spun under newly hired editor-in-chief Jim Rich. G/O Media named the veteran editor and journalist, who formerly served as editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, executive editor at Huffpost, and night sports editor at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content