Fun Famitsu Facts
In case you were wondering how much it costs to advertise in Japan's biggest games mag...
If you were wondering about the economies of game advertising in Japan, I just came upon a section of the Enterbrain website that you might want to check out.
So, check it out: Enterbrain ad information page
This section of the Enterbrain site contains all sorts of neat stats about how Weekly Famitsu (published by Enterbrain) does its business.
Most interesting is the section on ad prices. Prices are based primarily off location within the magazine. I don't know my ad specifications too well, but it appears that a basic single page four-color printing ad costs around $11,000 (I'm using a simple 100 yen to the dollar conversion rate here because if that's not the conversion rate by the time I finish writing this article I'm probably gong to have to leave Japan). Bump that up to $12,000 and $13,000 if you want your ad facing respectively an article or the table of contents. The ad on the back of the magazine costs $22,000, but even higher is the two page spread at the front of the magazine, running $27,500.
Just for reference, here are some examples of these ad units in the latest Famitsu:
[end_p text="Continue reading for more stats from Famitsu..." /]
Outside of these fixed ads, Famitsu offers a few promotional ads that tie in a bit more closely to the magazine's editorial content. The In-Store-Now section, which offers capsule looks at games that come out during the week, allows for game publishers to spend $10,000 to expand their game's coverage from a tiny half or quarter page box (given to every game) to two pages featuring a full page box on one page and an ad on the other page. Outside of the In-Store-Now section, it's possible to have an article about your game appear next to a two, three, or four page foldout ad for your game. These cost between $31,500 and $48,000. The last issue had these types of ads for Star Ocean 4, Disaster Report 3, and Oboro Muramasa.
Advertisers can also chose to bundle their ads across all the various Enterbrain publications, including Famitsu DS + Wii, Famitsu PlayStation, Famitsu Wave, and Famitsu.com. These bundles range in price between $20,000 and $36,500. The Famitsu.com tie-up results in a two page ad in Famitsu and a "special" page at Famitsu.com. These "special" pages are clearly marked on the site with the phrase "企画" ("kikaku") next to their headline on the front page and totally different look from regular Famitsu.com content. As an example, here's a Chou Aniki collaboration.
The site also offers a "light" version of these special pages which look a lot closer to regular Famitsu.com content. In fact, were it not for the "企画" next to the front page headline, it would be hard to tell the editorial from the PR here.
If you really want to explore Famitsu.com's pricing structure, here's the appropriate PDF. This was actually updated just today, so you're getting the latest info.
Looking at the chart, you can see that as big as Famitsu is, it doesn't have anywhere near the reach of the Weekly Jump, Magazine, and Sunday trio of manga magazines. This is true, surprisingly, not just for younger age groups, but for college students as well.
The Enterbrain site also has a tiny English section, which you can see here. According to the stats at that page, Weekly Famitsu has circulation of 500,000 per issue. I'd heard a while back that it was 750,000 or so, although I'm not sure where I heard this. The real surprising stat is Famitsu Xbox 360, with 120,000 circulation. So what we have here is all these Xbox 360 owners who buy Famitsu Xbox 360 but refuse to buy any Xbox 360 games. Real good.
Also notable in the English section of the site, some fantabulous Engrish descriptions of Enterbrain's various publications. From now on, whenever sourcing Weekly Famitsu in an article at IGN, I will write as so: "This information was first revealed in Weekly Famitsu, Japan's comprehensive video game informative magazine which always leads new movement." I don't pick up Famitsu PlayStation+ too often, but in the odd event that I do have to source it, I will say "This news was first unearthed in Famitsu PlayStation+, which is filled with much information which gives users satisfaction."
The reason I came upon this stuff is because of this article at Nintendo fan site N-Styles (via this game info blog). That site noted that Enterbrain posted a sudden price drop campaign for a couple of its March issues and speculated that this could be due to the Dragon Quest IX delay as a means of filling up holes that popped up.
(A PDF flier for the campaign can be found here -- it looks like the image to the right.)
This is just speculation on my part, but I presume Famitsu might have gotten some big advertisements in place due to an expected boost in interest from DQIX's release. With DQIX postponed, those ads are gone, and the magazine presumably has some space to fill up.
I'd put an andriasang.com ad in, but I doubt they'd accept an ad from a competing publication. Plus, 600,000 yen is still quite a bit for a site that has made a total of $75 in advertising over a nine month operation period.