The last interview with the new candidates is Riku Yamada, Corporate Officer and General Manager of Advertisement division, AbemaTV, Inc. We expect his passion to grow will drive the young generation of the Company to a higher level.
General Manager, Advertisement Headquarters, AbemaTV, Inc.
Joined CyberAgent in 2011, he has been handling development and sales of advertising products for in-house media. He was selected to oversee the Advertising Division at Ameba General Headquarters and appointed as a corporate officer in 2015.
Focusing on developing and invigorating young leaders by holding general meetings of employees in their 20s, and generating new businesses, he currently serves as General Manager of the Advertisement Headquarters for AbemaTV. He is a candidate for Director as of October 2018.
Being a positive example of exceptional promotion
Since joining CyberAgent I have worked in sales divisions, developing and selling advertising products for in-house media such as the Ameba blog service, and AbemaTV internet television channel. From my second year I was in management positions, so in my case, during most of my time my personal goals were the same as our team goals. It’s not too much to say that my success up to this point is the result of my team meeting their sales targets and other goals month after month. That’s why when my candidacy for director was announced, my first thought was that I am blessed with good colleagues. I believe that the increased support from the people around me is what led to my selection.
I am keenly aware of being a young person in training. There is a world of difference between my capabilities and that of the current management. It may be due to the strong sense of impatience felt by many of my generation—myself included—but I think that unless we allow the next generation to gain greater knowledge and experience, and advance to the next level, we will never reach the point of being “the 21st century’s leading company.” CyberAgent has a culture of promotion skipping several ranks, rooted in the idea that management positions foster abilities, but I feel strongly that people need the skills and personality suited to the position.
Since the announcement, I have had the opportunity to speak with President Fujita about my selection. He told me that he wanted me to be a “positive example of exceptional promotion.” I was inspired to put myself straight. This is an opportunity to demonstrate to those who think that there are no positions open in the company, that it is simply not the case. Up to now, I have focused on developing and encouraging young employees to be leaders, including serving as director for YMCA*, and I have experienced for myself the opportunities that this company affords to young people.
*Young Man CyberAgent, an organization to support and encourage young employees in their 20s.
Meeting expectations for the growth of AbemaTV
CyberAgent has set a target for AbemaTV of 10 million WAU* as an indicator of mass media status. We have steadily expanded the user base, and in two years since the launch we have reached six million WAU. That achievement has led to a positive performance in terms of advertising effectiveness as well. I have served as General Manager of the Advertisement Headquarters for AbemaTV since October 2017, and with the support and cooperation of many people, over the last year, we have steadily expanded sales of ad products. At the same time, CyberAgent has strengthened the unique content of AbemaTV, making it a year in which we have begun to feel a rise in social expectations.
The live streaming of sumo tournaments that began in January this year is one of the offerings that gained popularity as a result of AbemaTV’s unique programming and presentation style. The proportion of viewers under 35 was more than 35% of overall viewership. Along with longstanding sumo fans, the program has attracted interest from young generation “sumo novices” who never had contact with the sport before. This project was conceived with the idea of getting young people to better understand and enjoy sumo, the national sport of Japan with more than 1,500 years of history, and in that sense I think it has social significance.
This is just one example, but I am pleased that more companies share and support our vision. Along with expectations for growth, many advertisers are placing ads. Going forward, to meet those expectations we will actively develop products that match the times.
*Weekly Active Users (WAU): the number of unique users during a one-week period, measured with Google Analytics.
Creating opportunities for others through personal growth and business contributions
My mission, generally speaking, is to monetize AbemaTV. We are making a concerted effort as a company to firmly establish a pillar for earnings with advertising, and raise AbemaTV to the level of mass media. Business diversification and expansion in scale leads to an increase in a wide range of opportunities for everyone, including our coworkers. I sincerely feel that my being favored with this opportunity of being a director candidate is thanks to everyone who keeps CyberAgent going, as well as its corporate culture of expectations and selection of young employees such as myself, which has supported my development up to now.
This is a future that as a student seven years ago, I could not even imagine. I hope that through further personal growth, and by contributing to the business, that I can create opportunities for many people and give back for the support I’ve received.
Interview with the three new candidates for the Board
Senior Corporate Officer and General manager of AdTech Division
Building the Future of Internet Advertising with Technology and Creative
Corporate Officer, General Manager of Technical Development Division
Accelerating the Development of a "Technology-led CyberAgent