In 2009, Josei Jishin won the prestigious Fuji Sankei award for best magazine in Japan for the 4th time in that magazine's history! (By the way, Josei Jishin is not Fuji Sankei group). It's not only the oldest, it is by far the largest read women's magazine in the country. Josei Jishin started over 50 years ago (last year was the 50th anniversary) and the magazine sells over 400,000 issues a week.
But "only" 400,000 readers is not what Josei Jishin gets. The estimates are that every single weekly issue of Josei Jishin is read by well over 1.5 million Japanese women. You ask, "How is that possible?" Simple. Anywhere in Japan that there is a waiting room; beauty parlors, doctor's offices, banks, department stores and even coffee shops, you will see Josei Jishin there provided by that business as a service to customers.
I reckon the closest example in the United States would be Good Housekeeping magazine. Josei Jishin is the definitive Japanese women's magazine and totally dominates the market.
I often arrange promotional deals with international airlines (and domestic airlines too) in a co-branding situation with local businesses and for foreign government tourism departments. I have arranged many deals in cooperation with Josei Jishin so I am well aware of what's going on at that magazine.
Since Josei Jishin is so well known and has been around for so long, in some circles, it has an image of being a low-class magazine for lower or middle class housewives. How far from the truth that is!
I have, in the past, heard some people at huge international companies say things like, "Josei Jishin!? We do not want to deal with that women's gossip magazine! We are a premium high-class company! We want younger women clients and a magazine with a better image."
Actually, I heard this twice last year and could only chuckle. If only people knew the truth....
In spite of being the oldest women's magazine in Japan, and, in some - probably uninformed - circles, having a "dusty" image... Josei Jishin is bucking the magazine trend in this country and growing their business exponentially. Whereas other magazines are having a very hard time getting advertisers and then cutting their paper quality, staff, and magazine size or going bankrupt, Josei Jishin is cracking new ground and rolling in the money with their Internet businesses and online services.
The latest deal was with Yahoo Japan (as if only old women read Josei Jishin!? What does Yahoo Japan know that other companies don't?) Now, on Yahoo Japan, Josei Jishin has inked a deal to provide all the Japanese star and gossip material for Yahoo Japan. This means that when you see a juicy gossip piece about some famous star on Yahoo and you click the link, you are taken directly to the article on Josei Jishin's web page.
December 2010 access number's for this Yahoo Japan / Josei Jishin deal? Are you sitting down?
12,000,000 unique users in the first month of operations! 12 million unique users a month!!! That is massive! I received this data yesterday along with my friend Tim Williams, the founder of Value Commerce (and one of Japan's top expert's on direct online sales and marketing) directly from the coordinator of the Josei Jishin and Yahoo Japan deal. The information was verified by telephone with Koji Tanabe, the chief editor of Josei Jishin, and one of my dearest, oldest and best friends.
One day in November of 2010, on the Josei Jishin site there was an exclusive video of a famous Japanese actress and her dog. That video received over 650,000 unique hits in one hour and crashed their server!
Josei Jishin co-promoted event. Notice all the old ladies in the background!
Only people who do not keep up with the Internet and business news doesn't know about this deal... Today, I'm telling you the inside numbers first.
Josei Jishin an old stodgy magazine for old women? Ha! 12 million women unique users on Yahoo Japan / Josei Jishin linked up page would tend to disagree.
While all other magazines are falling by the wayside, Josei Jishin finds a way to exponentially grow their Internet business with powerful partners. Maybe therein lies a good reason why it is the oldest and most read and most popular women's magazine in Japan.
It could also explain why they have survived and thrived for over 50 years.
You think Josei Jishin a magazine for old women? Ha! Think again! Unless you think 12,000,000 unique users per month on a collaboration with Yahoo Japan is a bunch of old spinsters sitting around on their Macbooks.... Somehow, I think not.