- b.stage acts as a bridge for K-Content to enter Japan, with plans for a wide range of activities to capture the Japanese market.
- The localization strategy has seen immediate results, evidenced by the acquisition of new clients and the establishment of MOUs.
- b.stage “will make moves to establish the fandom business in Japan in response to increasing local enthusiasm for K-Content."
SEOUL, Korea - January 16, 2024 - b.stage, a global fandom business solution which has become a "must-have” for K-POP artists, is expanding into the Japanese entertainment market, the world's third-largest content market and a hub of K-POP enthusiasm. This strategic move follows the establishment of a Japanese subsidiary by bemyfriends, the developer and operator of b.stage. The expansion is a testament to b.stage’s successful track record in supporting K-POP artists in building successful global fandom businesses. With b.stage, both local and global fans of K-POP artists in Japan will be able to engage directly with their favorite K-POP idols.
A major benefit of b.stage is that it enhances the convenience of Japanese entertainment providers who run fandom businesses. With the introduction of Japanese language services on the b.stage admin page, they can set up, manage and view fandom data and activities on b.stage in their language. This also makes the various features of b.stage more accessible to Japanese fans, who frequently purchase artist merchandise. Moreover, Yen has been added as a payment option in the b.stage Shop, expanding beyond the previous currencies of KRW and USD. When entering a shipping address, b.stage automatically selects a local Japanese address for added convenience. Additionally, b.stage has partnered with the global payment service Stripe, offering features like payments at convenience stores, a popular payment method in Japan.
As b.stage has partnered with Hanjin, a company with a strong global fulfillment network and logistics expertise, it is also able to offer all-in-one logistics services by securing a domestic base in Japan. b.stage will leverage the logistics infrastructure of Hanjin's logistics partner in Japan, Sagawa Global Logistics under 'SG Holdings', for faster and more convenient merchandise delivery. The infrastructure is designed to make it easy for customers who operate fandom businesses in Japan to communicate with their fans, sell memberships or merchandise, and implement all of these processes seamlessly using the localized version of b.stage.
b.stage's entry into the Japanese market has seen immediate results in terms of MOUs and customer acquisition. Notably, b.stage has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kobunsha, a major Japanese publishing company, to simultaneously distribute content from both companies through their respective channels. Through this agreement, the two companies will work together to increase the exposure and global spread of their content. To achieve this, the collaboration will see the two companies leverage their channels and existing members, including Kobunsha's lifestyle magazine "JJ" and “K-POP MEMBER”, which has more than 130,000 members.
The first b.stage in Japan is already in the planning stages. PRISM.ER, a Japanese entertainment company, will use b.stage to launch a fandom platform for the group NMB48. The primary objective is to enhance communication with their global fans and foster more active engagement. In the future, PRISM.ER plans to open more fandom platforms for its artists through b.stage to accelerate their global business expansion.
"Japan is one of the countries with the highest interest and popularity of K-content, particularly K-POP, and the need for an IT solution like b.stage that enables artists and fandom to communicate closely was very high," said Bae Sang-hoon, CEO of bemyfriends Japan. "Drawing upon our experience and expertise in supporting the successful fandom businesses of various K-POP artists, we will contribute to solidifying the fandom business model in Japan by incorporating the leading K-POP fandom culture and trends, solidifying b.stage’s position as the no. 1 fandom business solution.”
Over the past two years, b.stage has shown steadfast commitment to improving its solutions and offerings. This has included the addition of b.stage POP, a real-time interactive fan communication feature, along with significant enhancements to the Custom Branding feature, with the goal of providing customers and fans with a more sophisticated fandom experience. Currently, various global customers such as global esports organization T1 and British singer-songwriter Jamie Miller are leveraging b.stage to successfully develop their fandom business.