HOME / 2023 Participants / Hasegawa Keita
|Locus Publishing Company
|Meguro Central Square 3-1-1 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku,141-0021 Tokyo, JAPAN
Our company U-NEXT is a Japanese subscription video on demand (SVOD) service which is the second largest in terms of market share behind Netflix and U-NEXT Publishing is a new division of it launched in 2021 and have already published 30 more novels and comics including both e-books and paper books.
In my current position, I am in charge of everything related to Kids and Family genre and am preparing for publishing children’s books now(e-books and paper books). Before that I had been working as a children’s book editor at Poplar Publishing, which is one of the Japanese leading publishers, for 12 years. I made 100 more children’s books including board books, picture books, novels and character IPs at that time. One of successful example of my project was Butt Detective(Oshiri-tantei), which became a huge IP including animation, toy, theater play, apparel and movies in not only Japan but also other Asian and European countries including Korea.
I’m currently preparing for publishing children’s books in kind of new way. For example, my current project is a something of educational TV programs which TV company used to produce. We U-NEXT are going to produce this kind of kids TV programs by ourselves, stream it and then we’d like to media-mix it with publishing or other IP related business. So now I’m collaborating with not only picture book authors but also kids&family TV creators or visual artists and so on.
My basic interest has not been changed since I started my career being an children’s books editor and I have always wanted to prevail the charm of children’s books for as many kids and parents as possible. However, it becomes much more difficult to reach our readers and sell books day by day through previous ways of making books, distributing and promoting as well. So I wanted to change the way of making books and reaching for the
|Experience related to this year’s topic
All technologies including AI Chat GPT are my current interests as an editor. It will soon have a huge impact on our way of creating books without any doubt. On the other hand, some part of our creativity will still be needed to produce anything. Nobody knows how exactly will happen to us, but I’m basically looking forward to it and always discussing and trying with colleagues(there are 200 more engineersat U-NEXT) and creators. Now is the time just to try or the incubation period to use AI for commercial products in publishing area but I think we should keep using and enjoying it.