AbemaTV, Inc.
Type of site
OTT platform
Available inJapanese
FoundedApril 1, 2015; 8 years ago (2015-04-01)
HeadquartersAbema Towers, 40-1 Udagawachō, ,
Japan
Area servedJapan
Owner
Key people
  • Susumu Fujita (President, and Representative Director of CyberAgent)
  • Hiroshi Hayakawa (Chairman, and Chairman, CEO, President, and COO of TV Asahi)
Products
Services
RevenueIncrease ¥6.04 billion (2018)
Operating incomeIncrease ¥18.97 billion (2018)
Net incomeIncrease ¥19.08 billion (2018)
URLabema.tv
RegistrationOptional
UsersIncrease6.52 million per month (as of February 2023)[1]
LaunchedMarch 1, 2016 (2016-03-01)
(Early access)
April 11, 2016 (2016-04-11)
(Full launch)
Current statusActive

Abema (アベマ, often stylized as all caps) is a Japanese streaming service that launched on April 11, 2016, under the name AbemaTV.[2] It is majority-owned by CyberAgent, with a 55.2% stake, and TV Asahi, with a 36.8% stake, while the remaining ownership belongs to various other companies, mostly in the media and entertainment industry.

Abema primarily functions as an online television network, featuring multiple FAST channels that offer news, sports, entertainment programming, with the option to become a premium member to view past programs on demand.

Abema's headquarters at Abema Towers in Shibuya, Tokyo

History

Launch

CyberAgent and TV Asahi announced on March 31, 2015, that they would jointly establish a fixed-rate video distribution company called AbemaTV in April of that year.[3] The company became subsidiaries of CyberAgent, and Shun Fujita, the President of CyberAgent, was appointed as the President of AbemaTV.[3]

CyberAgent and TV Asahi launched the service on April 11, 2016, with some channels pre-released starting from March 1 of the same year. AbemaTV channels stream in real-time, similar to traditional linear TV, but missed programs can only be watched by becoming a premium plan member, which costs 960 yen per month.[4]

Though CyberAgent also owns a similarly-named social networking service called Ameba, they chose not to re-use the brand for AbemaTV due to the existence of a Canadian service called Ameba TV.[5] According to President Fujita, he wanted to convey that AbemaTV was a new and fresh service that was an extension of Ameba, which has been around for over 10 years. However, he also admitted that the name AbemaTV can be difficult to remember, pronounce, and often mistaken, stating that he himself occasionally misspeaks it.[6]

Established position in Japan

On May 7, 2017, AbemaTV's live show Win 10 Million Yen if You Beat Koki Kameda set a new record with 14.2 million views, causing the service's servers to crash. AbemaTV offered the match footage for free on a special website.[7] In December of the same year, AbemaTV announced that the 72 Hour Honne TV program featuring three former members of SMAP had garnered 74 million views.[8]

However, according to the financial statement as of September 30, 2017, AbemaTV recorded a net loss of 19.125 billion yen and a deficit of 28.38 billion yen in retained earnings.[9] Despite this, CyberAgent plans to continue investing in AbemaTV in the fiscal year 2018 and expand into peripheral businesses such as radio channel launch and broadcast of shopping programs.[9] The reason for disclosing the losses is to deter other companies from entering this field and also because the parent company, CyberAgent, is listed on the stock exchange and has a responsibility to explain to shareholders that the stagnant operating profit is due to the preemptive investment in AbemaTV, according to President Fujita.[10]

In January 2019, CyberAgent disclosed that Abema Premium had 358,000 subscribers, a 4.5-fold increase from the previous year, and that AbemaTV's app had been downloaded 37 million times. The service had a record of 9.18 million weekly active users (WAU) during the New Year's holiday period.[11] President Fujita explained that when AbemaTV started about three years ago, the plan was to create a linear TV service on the internet. However, almost all of the package content is available on-demand, with live streaming of news and sports being the only linear content. He also stated that AbemaTV's dramas are 95% on-demand. Fujita expressed his intention to strengthen the hybridization of linear and on-demand viewing in pursuit of user convenience.[11]

On February 25, 2019, AbemaTV began a trial service for viewers outside Japan, with the ability to watch from the United States, Australia, Thailand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Brazil using the iOS/Android app.[12]

In January 2020, CyberAgent announced its Q1 earnings for the 2020 fiscal year (October to December 2019), stating that the media division was boosted by AbemaTV, with a revenue increase of 6.9% to 12.2 billion yen, although there was an operating loss of 5 billion yen. The number of paid members for Abema Premium increased to 593,000.[13]

As of March 4, 2020, AbemaTV reached 50 million cumulative downloads on its smartphone app.[14] When the service was launched in 2016, its goal was to achieve 10 million weekly active users who could be monetized through advertising; the company achieved this goal for the first time in 2019. After March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic acted as a tailwind, and the number of weekly active users reached a record high of over 14.9 million in early April.[15]

In April 2020, AbemaTV changed its name to Abema, due to the diversification of services beyond linear streaming to on-demand streaming and other offerings.[16]

Investment in sports

On June 29, 2021, Abema announced that they would be live streaming 166 Major League Baseball games starting from July 1. The focus of the live streaming was on teams that included Japanese players, such as Shohei Ohtani's Los Angeles Angels. Out of the 166 games, 120 were available for free.[17][18] On March 31, 2022, Abema announced that they would continue live streaming games for the 2022 season, starting from the opening game on April 8. The service streamed a total of 324 games, including all games of the Los Angeles Angels, with 234 of them being available for free.[19] On March 22, 2023, Abema further announced that they would continue live streaming 324 games for the 2023 season, starting from the opening game.[20]

On November 16, 2022, Abema announced that it would livestream for free all 64 matches, including the qualifiers, of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar starting from November 21, 2022.[21]

As the broadcasting rights fees for the FIFA World Cup have been increasing in recent years, many private broadcasters have reported losses since the South Africa tournament in 2010. As reported by The Asahi Shimbun on July 28, 2021; the domestic broadcasting rights fee for the 1998 France tournament, which was purchased solely by NHK, was 550 million yen, but the amount offered for the Qatar tournament exceeded 20 billion yen, and an agreement could not be reached on the price. As a "soccer enthusiast" who was concerned that the World Cup might not be viewable in Japan, President Fujita decided to pursue the acquisition of broadcasting rights.[22]

According to the official ranking of viewership by match that was announced, the "Japan vs. Croatia" match in the knockout stage on November 6 was the most watched, and the number of viewers immediately after the match exceeded 23 million. The second most watched match was the "Japan vs. Costa Rica" match in the group stage on November 17, and the third was the "Japan vs. Spain" match in the group stage on December 2. Abema explained that the number of viewers was counted as the "unique browsers" that accessed the site on that day, meaning that even if the same person accessed the site multiple times using different browser apps, they were counted as one person.[23]

On July 21, 2022, Abema announced a partnership with Spotv Now to stream the 2022-23 season of the Premier League. The service will live stream approximately one-third of all league games, or 114 matches, on Abema Premier, with some games available for free.[24] Additionally, on February 9, 2023, Abema announced a partnership with SKY PerfecTV! to live stream three games per match day for the remaining games of the Bundesliga this season, with some games also available for free.[25]

In 2023, Abema garnered a user base of 6.52 million people in February.[3] According to the Mobile Society Research Institute's survey in the same year, it achieved a recognition rate of 69.4%.[26] Additionally, the survey conducted by Dentsu DY Media Partners revealed that its usage rate stood at 34.4%.[27][28]

List of channels

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Abema" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Channel name Date launched Description
Abema News 2016/3/1
  • 24/7 News Channel
  • Changes to AbemaNews Emergency during emergency broadcasts
Abema Special 1 2016/3/1
  • Streams various original programs, special programs, variety, anime and drama produced by AbemaTV
Abema Special 2 2016/4/11
  • An alternative channel to AbemaSPECIAL, also broadcasts various programs as the original channel
Abema Gold 2016/4/11
  • Streams special programs in addition to various Japanese and every movies, sports programs and other variety around the world
Drama 2016/4/11
  • Streams various television dramas, movies and Tokusatsu that have aired in the past
C–World 2016/12/5[29]
  • Popular Chinese television dramas and movies
Abema Anime 1 2018/4/1[30]
  • 24/7 anime channel
  • Focuses on new anime that aired in recent years
  • Abema Anime 2 and Abema Anime 3 also runs irregularly to provide more channels for anime streaming
Anime LIVE 2018/4/1[30]
Everyone's Anime 2018/4/1[30]
  • Mainly streams family oriented anime and nostalgic or older anime
CM 2016/8/8
  • Streams only commercials published by AbemaTV
  • Comments are disabled for this channel
QUEST by Discovery 2019/5/1
  • Channel in collaboration with Discovery Japan,[31] mainly streams documentaries and other similar programs
MTV Hits 2016/4/11
  • Music videos for every music and songs around the world from MTV
  • Sometimes streams every dramas and reality shows around the world
Hip-Hop[32] 2017/1/1
  • Streams hip hop music videos
  • Has a designated DJ for hip-hop music
Abema Radio 2017/11/20 (J-Wave Period)[33]
2017/12/1 (Full Launch)
  • Broadcasts 9 different radio channels across the nation
FIGHTZ[34] 2016/7/31
beIN Sports Japan[35] 2016/3/1 (First Launch)
2017/8/1 (Second Launch)
2024/1/3 (as beIN Sports Japan)
  • Streams various sports competitions and sports related programs
Keirin 2019/4/2
  • Streams live keirin competitions and keirin related content
Fishing 2016/3/1
  • Streams fishing related content
  • Available worldwide since April 2019[36]
Shogi[37] 2017/2/1
  • Streams shogi matches and shogi related content
  • Available worldwide since April 2019[36]
Mahjong 2016/3/1
Abema Overseas News 2019/2/25
  • Aimed at Japanese people who are overseas and out of the country as a news channel
  • Unavailable domestically within Japan[38]

Other channels

These channels run on an inconsistent schedule

See also

References

  1. ^ "動画配信、淘汰の時代に 国内草分け、GYAO!サービス終了へ" [In the era of video streaming consolidation, pioneering domestic service GYAO! is set to shut down.]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 21 March 2023. p. 9.
  2. ^ アベマ ティービー
  3. ^ a b c "サイバーエージェントとテレ朝が合弁新会社 定額制動画配信とニュースチャンネル展開". ITmedia NEWS (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  4. ^ "サイバーエージェント藤田社長が「AbemaTV」でマスメディアを目指す理由". ITmedia Mobile (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  5. ^ ASCII. "iPhoneで24時間無料動画視聴、サイバーエージェントとテレビ朝日が手がける「Abema TV」を徹底解説 (1/2)". ASCII.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  6. ^ "「AbemaTV」(アベマTV)、なぜ「AmebaTV」じゃないの? 藤田社長「正直言って、半分くらい後悔」". ITmedia NEWS (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  7. ^ "「亀田興毅に勝ったら1000万円」AbemaTV史上最多アクセスでサーバダウン". ITmedia NEWS (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  8. ^ "ビデオリサーチ、「『ホンネテレビ』視聴者207万人」リリース取り下げ トップページで謝罪". ITmedia NEWS (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Cygamesは黒字133億円、AbemaTVは赤字191億円 サイバーエージェント子会社決算まとめ". ITmedia NEWS (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  10. ^ "AbemaTVが営業赤字200億円でもインターネットテレビの雄を狙う理由". ダイヤモンド・オンライン (in Japanese). 28 February 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  11. ^ a b 株式会社インプレス (31 January 2019). "AbemaTVのプレミアム会員は35.8万人。オンデマンド比率は32%に". AV Watch (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  12. ^ 株式会社インプレス (25 February 2019). "AbemaTVが海外からの視聴対応。6カ国でニュースや将棋、麻雀、釣り". AV Watch (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  13. ^ 株式会社インプレス (30 January 2020). "AbemaTV有料会員は59.3万人に増加。オンデマンド視聴比率が上昇". AV Watch (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  14. ^ 株式会社インプレス (13 March 2020). "AbemaTVアプリが5,000万ダウンロード突破。4月11日で開局4周年". AV Watch (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  15. ^ "アベマTV、巣ごもりで視聴者1400万人突破の訳". 東洋経済オンライン (in Japanese). 26 May 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  16. ^ 株式会社インプレス (13 April 2020). "AbemaTVから「ABEMA」へ。藤田晋社長に聞く4年間の変化とこれから【西田宗千佳のRandomTracking】". AV Watch (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  17. ^ "MLB166試合をABEMAが配信へ 120試合は無料、プレミアムプランで46試合を生中継:中日スポーツ・東京中日スポーツ". 中日スポーツ・東京中日スポーツ (in Japanese). Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  18. ^ "MLB・大谷翔平の活躍が最後まで見られる! エンゼルスの全試合をABEMAにて完全中継". Real Sound|リアルサウンド テック (in Japanese). 27 July 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  19. ^ "大谷翔平の全試合を完全生中継 ABEMAがMLB公式戦324試合を日本語実況と解説付きで放送:中日スポーツ・東京中日スポーツ". 中日スポーツ・東京中日スポーツ (in Japanese). Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  20. ^ 株式会社インプレス (22 March 2023). "ABEMA、MLB公式戦324試合を生中継。大谷翔平やヌートバーも活躍". AV Watch (in Japanese). Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  21. ^ TIMES編集部, ABEMA (16 November 2022). "「FIFA ワールドカップ カタール 2022」の全64試合無料生中継がABEMAで決定 | サッカー | ABEMA TIMES | アベマタイムズ". ABEMA TIMES. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  22. ^ "「過去最大の投資」──ABEMA責任者が語るサッカーW杯放映権獲得の舞台裏と狙い". ITmedia ビジネスオンライン (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  23. ^ "メディアフォーカス". NHK放送文化研究所 (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  24. ^ "「ABEMA」がサッカー英プレミアリーグの放映権を獲得できたワケ". ITmedia ビジネスオンライン (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  25. ^ co., Ltd, FromOne (9 February 2023). "ABEMA、今季残りのブンデスリーガ毎節3試合を生中継 2月は堂安所属フライブルク戦など無料配信". サッカーキング (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  26. ^ "TVer認知率72%、収益化は道半ば 同時配信開始1年". 日本経済新聞 (in Japanese). 11 April 2023. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  27. ^ "博報堂DYメディアパートナーズ、生活者のメディア接触の現状を捉える「メディア定点調査2023」時系列分析の結果を発表". 日本経済新聞 (in Japanese). 23 May 2023. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  28. ^ "メディア定点調査". 博報堂DYメディアパートナーズ メディア環境研究所 (in Japanese). 25 May 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2023.
  29. ^ "インターネットテレビ局「AbemaTV」にて新たに「韓流・華流チャンネル」の開設が決定 | 株式会社サイバーエージェント". Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  30. ^ a b c 「AbemaTV」2周年で新アニメCHが爆誕!! 独占&世界最速視聴できるアニメ作品倍増 業界初・声優MCによるレギュラー番組 毎日生放送!新アニメCHの豪華ラインナップ解禁 | 株式会社サイバーエージェント
  31. ^ "「AbemaTV」にDiscoveryの新チャンネル『QUEST by Discovery』が開設 5月1日(水)より放送開始 日本初公開の番組も続々登場". CyberAgent. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  32. ^ "インターネットテレビ局「AbemaTV」にて新たに「HIPHOPチャンネル」を開設". Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  33. ^ Sonar Music (Monday to Thursday, 21:00 to 24:00) is distributed on AbemaGOLD Channel
  34. ^ "「AbemaTV」にて新たに「格闘チャンネル」の開設が決定". CyberAgent. 27 July 2016. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  35. ^ "「SPORTSチャンネル」開設と「SOCCERチャンネル」「ヨコノリチャンネル」統合のお知らせ | AbemaTV公式ガイド". Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  36. ^ a b c "インターネットテレビ局「AbemaTV」が全世界からの視聴に対応". CyberAgent. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  37. ^ "インターネットテレビ局「AbemaTV」にて新たに「将棋チャンネル」を開設 棋界でもっとも格式と歴史のある最高峰の棋戦「名人戦」を生中継 | 株式会社サイバーエージェント". Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  38. ^ "「AbemaTV」が海外からの視聴に試験対応". CyberAgent. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  39. ^ "ABEMA TO STREAM PREMIER LEAGUE IN JAPAN". sportindustry.biz. 21 July 2022. Retrieved 28 July 2022.[permanent dead link]