Nico Nico Douga

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Nico Nico Douga
File:Nico Nico Douga logo.png
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Video hosting service
Registration Yes
Available language(s) Japanese, Traditional Chinese, German and Spanish
Owner Niwango
Created by Niwango
Launched December 12, 2006
Current status Active

Nico Nico Douga (ニコニコ動画 Niko Niko Dōga?, lit. "Smiley videos") is a popular video sharing website in Japan managed by Niwango. Its nickname is "Niconico" or "Nico-dō", where "nikoniko" is the Japanese ideophone for smiling. Nico Nico Douga is the ninth most visited website in Japan.[1] The site won the Japanese Good Design Award in 2007,[2] and an Honorary Mention of the Digital Communities category at Prix Ars Electronica 2008.[3]


[edit] Features

Users can upload, view and share video clips. Unlike other video sharing sites, however, comments are overlaid directly onto the video, synced to a specific playback time. This allows comments to respond directly to events occurring in the video, in sync with the viewer - creating a sense of a shared watching experience. Nico Nico Douga's atmosphere is close to 2channel's or Futaba Channel's, and many popular videos have otaku tastes, such as anime, computer game and pop music. Nico Nico Douga offers tagging of videos. Tags may be edited by any user, not just the uploader. Each video may have up to ten tags, of which up to five may be optionally locked by the uploader, but all others may be edited by any user. Frequently these tags are used not only as categorization, but also as critical commentary, satire, or other humor related to the video's content.

Other features include:

  • High video quality: Nico Nico Douga encourages users to pre-encode their videos in a format suitable for unmodified distribution. As of July 5, 2008, h.264 video and AAC audio is supported for both free and premium users.
  • Mylist: Each user may create 'mylists', which function similarly to a list of bookmarks. All users can create up to twenty-five mylist folders, while a basic account can have 100 videos recorded and a premium (paid) account 500 videos per mylist, giving them a total of 12,500 mylist spots. Daily mylist activity is used to compute the default ranking view, although one may also sort by view or comment count. Mylists may be optionally made public and linked to; for example, to make a list of one's own works.
  • Uploader comments: The uploader of a video may attach permanent comments to the video. These are often used for such things as subtitles, lyrics, or corrections.
  • Nicoscript: By using special commands in the uploader comments, the uploader can add special effects to the video, including voting, automatic transfer to another video, quiz scoring, and other features.

[edit] History

The first version of Nico Nico Douga used YouTube as a video source. However, as the site became more popular, so much traffic was transferred from YouTube that YouTube blocked access from Nico Nico Douga. Consequently Nico Nico Douga was forced to shutdown the service but two weeks later it commenced its service with its own video server. On May 7, 2007, the Nico Nico Douga for mobile phone users was announced. Since August 9, 2007, "Nico Nico Douga (RC) Mobile" has serviced mobile phones of NTT DoCoMo and au.[4]

As of November 13, 2008, Nico Nico Douga has over 10,000,000 registered users and 215,000 premium users.[5] Due to the limited server capacity, Niwango limits the amount of free users accessible to the website at peak times (7pm to 2am), based on the time of registration. The website is written in Japanese and almost all users are Japanese, but one percent of the users are Taiwanese.[6] A Taiwanese version of the site was launched on October 18, 2007.[7] In July 2008, the website was localized to German and Spanish.[8]

[edit] Business aspects

The main income of Nico Nico Douga is divided into three parts: Premium-Membership (Pay-membership), Advertisement, and Nico Nico Ichiba (Affiliate).[9][10][11]


Registration is needed to watch videos at Nico Nico Douga. There are two types of registered accounts, Free membership and Premium-membership. The Premium-membership fee is around 500 yen (about US$5) a month. As of May 8, 2008, there are 7,900,000 registered members and 204,000 premium members.


Nico Nico Douga uses Google Ads and other web advertisements. On May 8, 2008, Niwango announced partnership with Yahoo! Japan, and plans to adopt search-related ads and other Yahoo-related services.

Nico Nico Ichiba (Affiliate)

Nico Nico Ichiba is a unique advertisement system in which users can place banners freely in each video page. Both video uploader and video viewer can choose items which they want to place, and can place and delete banners in the advertisement area. Users also can know how many each banners have been clicked, how many items have been bought. Ranking info of numbers of items bought through Nico Nico Ichiba is also officially provided. Items available are from, Yahoo Shopping, and Dwango mobile service.

Premium accounts and the affiliate system are currently only available to Japanese users. Non-Japanese users can apply for a premium membership on the Japanese site with international cards, language barrier notwithstanding.

[edit] Current financial condition

As of May 9, 2008, Nico Nico Douga has had a gross income of approximately 170 million yen (US$1.42 million as of May 29, 2008), where 100 million yen (US$948,000) of that comes from paid premium memberships, 20 million yen (US$189,760) from their affiliates program, and another 50 million yen (US$474,400) from advertisements. However, operating the service costs approximately 250 million yen (US$2.37 million).[citation needed]

[edit] Copyright problems

Nico Nico Douga has a copyright infringement problem. On October 30, 2007, Niwango and the JASRAC, Japanese copyright holders' society agreed to form a comprehensive partnership and Niwango will pay two percent of its earnings to JASRAC as copyright royalties.[12] On March 11, 2008, Dwango announced that they would tighten up on the deletion of videos and monitoring uploaded videos. In the same way, on July 2, 2008, Dwango announced to three organizations that they would strengthen the deletion of anime and related content, including videos that use elements of copyrighted anime (known as MAD Movies). At the same time, Nico Nico Douga changed its system to expose what right holder deleted which video.

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Alexa Traffic ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 
  2. ^ "Good Design Award No.07C02037" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 
  3. ^ "Ars Electronica Prix Honorary Mentions". Prix Ars Electronica. Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 
  4. ^ "Nico Nico Douga Mobile Tester Starting" (in Japanese). Nico Nico Douga Developer's Blog. 2007-05-07. Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 
  5. ^ "Over Ten Million Registered Users Notification" (in Japanese). Niwango press release. 2008-11-13. Retrieved on 2008-11-13. 
  6. ^ "Gudadada Notice" (in Japanese). Nico Nico Douga Developer's Blog. 2007-08-08. Retrieved on 2007-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Nico Nico Douga's Expansion" (in Japanese). CNET Japan. 2007-10-10.,2000056023,20358356,00.htm. Retrieved on 2007-10-12. 
  8. ^ "Nico Nico Douga Announcement: Specific User Function Addition" (in Japanese). IT Media. 2008-07-04. Retrieved on 2008-07-06. 
  9. ^ "Nico Nico Ichiba's Proceeds" (in Japanese). ASCII. 2008-05-09. Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 
  10. ^ "Midway to September 2008 Balance Explanation" (in Japanese). DWANGO. 2008-05-09. Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 
  11. ^ "Yahoo! Japan and Nico Nico Douga Cooperation Start" (in Japanese). 2008-05-09. Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 
  12. ^ "Nico Nico Douga and YouTube Copyright Fee Payment" (in Japanese). IT Media. 2007-10-30. Retrieved on 2008-07-02. 

[edit] External links

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