"EntameCoin Inc." established on June 11, announcing an entry into the Fintech (Finance Technology) business as Avex. What kind of vision will the evolution of the future of entertainment industry which EntameCoin opens be? We interviewed Yuzo Arita, President & CEO of EntameCoin Inc., Kazumasa Miyazawa, the advisor to the company and was involved in the inception period of Rakuten Edy, and Noriyuki Yanagawa, the professor of Economics at the graduate school of Tokyo University who has been collaborating with EntameCoin.
Return to the heat of fan's support with value that couldn't be bought with money
"EntameCoin" is a completely new service aimed at visualizing fans' support (yell) for entertainment players such as musicians and athletes. There are two kinds of supports by fans: "purchasing" accompanied by money and "behavior" without money. EntameCoin is trying to visualize support by "purchasing" with unique mobile payment system, and that by "behavior" with a newly developed Yell Card System (patent pending). It is a perfect timing when each company enters the cashless payment business and popularization of the industry in Japan is also coming.
Arita "The service idea of EntameCoin is based on my own original experiences from the music scene. I wanted to get rid of the stress of the fans who clasped the cash at the merchandise department outside the concert venue and lined up in the long queue especially in blistering temperatures. Besides, I've always thought if I could create a service that would reward not only fans who use money, but also the junior high and high school fans who are supporting the artists so hard even if the money they can use is limited. Both of these project concepts have been started from the point that if we can make fans fair and happy without cutting off the young generations. "
EntameCoin is characterized by a service that can have point cards of favorite entertainment players in a system linked with Wallet of mobile payment. They use block chains as a technology to realize this mechanism.
Arita "Points called 'Yell' that show the love value to the support targets are calculated by multiplying the 'index' of how much money was spent on the entertainment player with the 'heat of support' by the behavior that money is not related. With this mechanism, it's possible for fans to replace the 'Yell' (love value) that have been accumulated with 'purchasing' and 'action' with special entertainment experiences or things that cannot be converted into money."
Miyazawa "When I was working for Edy, I was very disappointed that there was no necessity to use electronic money because we didn't have the contents. For example, when you get on a train there is a necessity of Suica, but Edy didn't have the contents, so it was very difficult to develop. What I think EntameCoin's incredible strength is that it's clearly rooted in the contents of artists etc., and there are existences of extreme fans. So we can offer different value from payment convenience. "
Yanagawa "Since content business can be easily copied, it's quite limited to do business with selling so-called music itself. I thought that we had to rather think about a wider ecosystem that can make money in other areas by spreading the contents. The strength of EntameCoin is that we already have strong contents. Even if other business operators intend to enter the payment business, they cannot do the same thing. "
The shape of a new economy that visualized and created the invisible value
Since it can be charged by prepayment method, even young generations who don’t have credit cards or bank accounts can use if they have smartphones. It may become such a world that the long queue of goods sales department disappears, and the goods can be settled in advance by smartphone and immediately received at the venue.
Arita "The business of a fan club is, for example, to treat fans as equally as possible when they pay annual fee 5,000 yen, but that of EntameCoin is rather to 'optimize'. We return special entertainment experiences as our special thank you to fans who have provided a lot of economical supports or actions such as sending out SNS and listening to music. We would like to widely offer the mechanism for that to entertainment players who have enthusiastic fans, not limited to Avex. That is our current vision. "
By visualizing these invisible values, it's possible to create a new "economy of scale" centered on entertainment, so to speak. Considering here as a market, network effect, which more people gather as more people gather, will work. There is a possibility of making "economies of scale" with a way of fighting different from axes such as commission rate and product selections.
Yanagawa "What matters is that through the mechanism of EntameCoin, it will become possible to grasp the activities of fans that haven't been seen before. As a result, it will be possible for entertainment players to provide more detailed services that couldn't be done so far. As I gave advice to President Arita from the idea stage, I think that it would be good if we could set up payment system and point system for that. "
Miyazawa "Elaborately speaking, I think that it leads to raising Japan's GDP to create an entertainment economic zone with the value that has never existed before. What's even better is that it's a concept that doesn't monopolize the value with just one company, but makes the whole entertainment industry excite by properly returning the data to content holders who participated. I learned it when I worked for Edy as well, but if there is no win-win relationship, it will never work out well. "
Of course, since it's a financial service, small mistakes are not allowed. There were many hurdles that must be exceeded: The payment base which was constructed in cooperation with major financial institutions, the system which is decentralized development by 13 development companies, regulations that endure financial services, polite communication with the content side and such. Those aggressive challenges also show the characteristics of Avex.
Arita "Recently, due to digitization, contents are held in IT and distribution platforms, even distribution channels and contact points with fans. However, when we thought if it would be possible to co-create an entertainment ecosystem together with domestic content operators once again, There was a feeling like a sense of mission that Avex which grew from independent, had no distortion, and had a climate not bound by the established concept had to be responsible for that lead role. "
vision to deliver realistic
emotions to fans
The opposite of the digital is an analog, live entertainment players that cannot be replaced with data. Mr. Yanagawa and Mr. Miyazawa say that because it is an era of digital prime, connecting digital and real feelings will lead to superiority.
Yanagawa "Because it's an era that can get anything in digital, analogs are rather worthwhile. Customers pay money for live performances of live artists. There is a possibility of EntameCoin where you multiply data-driven businesses with analog strengths that you can meet and shake hands with that person. "
Miyazawa "In the past the banking industry was doing demonstration experiments on electronic money, but everything was failing. Edy succeeded because there was a user's perspective. Fintech won't progress only with finance. It's very important to combine not only financial perspective but also entertainment and IT technology. That's why I believe that EntameCoin is the only company which can tie Fintech to real excitement. "
Of course, competition is severe in the mobile payment market. However, President Arita's vision is further ahead.
Arita "EntameCoin is not just about doing business with mobile payment, but we'd like to entertain the support of fans, and as a result we want to be a service that can contribute for the next star to be born. To do so, I think that it's necessary to provide a new mechanism, in which fans and entertainment players circulate 'thank you' in both directions and mutual heat quantity and love value grow synergistically, from the entertainment point of view. With the fans who have calorie, star will be born. We will make such a hot entertainment ecosystem of entertainment. "
Among the future that "EntameCoin" draws, fans are no longer just fans. Fans who support entertainment players are also the protagonists who create stars. A utopia where all people involved with entertainment can enjoy in a win-win situation. "EntameCoin" aims at such an ideal future.
CEO & President
The University of Tokyo
Faculty of Economics