Japanse monster lumbers into space

October 23, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Another monster company has declared it is wading into the space, and immediately laid down what it is doing and what is will be charging.

Japanese conglomerate Marubeni already has investments in energy, food, textile, light metals, paper pulp, transportation, infrastructure and shipping, information technology, construction, and steel manufacturing. It also big on the Japanese financial market, and it is the trading house that has declared it starting a “low-cost digital signage service” with eyes on building it out through distributors.

Says a press release:

Marubeni plans to charge no more than 14,000 yen to set up displays and a monthly service fee of less than 10,000 yen per display.

Usually, it can cost as much as 10 million yen to introduce digital signage, which displays product information, advertisements and news on large panels, because system development is expensive.

But Marubeni can offer the service at such a cheap price, as it uses its own data center and transmit information to displays via the Internet, company officials said.

In US dollar terms, 14,000 yen is $144, and 10,000 yen is $103 (as of today). The proposition that it usually costs 10 million yen, or $103,00 or so, to get rocking seems a little high, but how one gets to “usual” in this industry is an open question. Even $103 a month for service looks to be on the high side, but who knows what’s in that fee and what the market is used to seeing.
I don’t read or see a lot coming out of Japan with respect to this industry, though news stories and documentaries would suggest it is a sea of electronics already. The big display guys like Sony and Sharp have their own software solutions, and some of the usual suspects must have people or resellers there, but you have to assume there are some regional companies offering solutions in the native language and with native sensibilities. 

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