ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of Master License Rights to Kumarba Channel in Japan
October 27, 2020
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has acquired master license rights for the merchandise of Kumarba Channel, a project run by Kumarba Inc. (headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; Shoichiro Hiwatashi, President; hereinafter “Kumarba”) for the creation of IP*1 for kids. The merchandise will launch in the Japanese market in 2021 Spring/Summer.
Kumarba, which creates and produces IP for kids, was established in September 2020 as part of the new content business of Akatsuki Inc. (hereinafter “Akatsuki”) which is strong in the development and operation of mobile games. Kumarba Channel, run by Akatsuki started distributing content through its IP-creating project that began on YouTube in May 2019. Since then, the channel has drawn attention for the entertainment and educational content it provides in ways that enable children to enjoy growing with the characters. To date, it has achieved rapid growth, achieving more than 200 million views and 200 thousand subscribers. Distribution of the English version of Kumarba Channel started in August 2020 with the goal of making it the IP that represents kids in the Reiwa era. We are also considering global expansion of the channel’s operations, mainly by leveraging YouTube. For example, we will focus on a media mix that encompasses TV, music, publishing and other forms of commercialization.
ITOCHU utilizes its abundant experience and network in the textiles industry while pursuing continued evolution of its brand business through efforts such as expanding its e-commerce business and diversifying its distribution channels. For the Spring/Summer of 2021, we will begin selling Kumarba Channel merchandise, mainly apparel and accessories for babies and kids, at specialty stores and mass merchandise outlets. In the future, we will increase the number of related items and develop outlets for them in pursuit of an expansion into all categories that may be relevant to children’s lifestyles, such as educational toys, baby-care goods and books. We will work on the creation of new value benefitting the customer experience, by, for example, developing products using an OMO*2 approach, by strengthening partnership with Kumarba Channel while leveraging Kumarba’s abundant online experience and its network.
- *1Intellectual Property
- *2Online Merges with Offline
Kumarba Channel on YouTube
Information about Kumarba Channel
|Start of distribution||May 1, 2019|
|Number of subscribers to the channel||200 thousand|
|Total number of views||200 million|
|Monthly number of views||32 million (September 2020)|
|Monthly number of unique channel viewers||2.9 million (September 2020)|