Google Japan is set to make Samurai dramas. The shows will be produced at the company’s Japan headquarters located at its Roppongi Hills building in Tokyo.
Anyone who wants to make a video for the Google owned YouTube will have the studios made available to them free of charge until the end of May. Japanese movie company Toei Co will offer film making courses there too.
Head of Toei’s samurai drama studio in Kyoto, Yasuto Takemura, said, “The studio will provide people throughout the world with opportunities to watch samurai dramas.”
Much has been said about corporations having social responsibilities. Many donate money to charities and/or create their own foundations. But some business ethicists believe that it is not for publicly traded companies to spend its stockholders money on charity without their permission. “Let the stockholders choose what to do with their dividends, ” they say.
But in this case Google will get to have its cake and eat it too, pardon the cliché.
Yes the company is spending its stockholders money on promoting the arts. Yes it is in effect giving that money away rather than pay it out as dividends.
But at the same time this money is an investment in the company’s future. First it is expanding goodwill in Japan and Asia as a whole by aiding in the expansion of arts and culture there. This will be good for its corporate image at a time when the European Union is pursuing anti-trust charges against it.
But it is also investing in the future of one of Google’s most profitable subsidiaries, YouTube. The new productions will clearly help YouTube continue to grow. Japan could be the start of its transforming itself into an original programing service like Netflix and Yahoo have done. This is crucial as more and more people talk about “cutting the cord” and giving up cable in favor of Internet streaming services.