At a house in Tokyo, musicians, fashion models, entertainers and even animals gather to create live Webcasts for their fans.
Tokyo-based content provider Casty Co. offers the service. The joint venture was set up in 2002 up by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., a leading entertainment group based in Osaka.
Tepco created the service to increase broadband services for households.
Many of the guides on the “Residents of Hikari So” (optical apartment) Webcast service are not just trying to entertain viewers but also connect with them, said Hidenori Nakai, president of the company and a former executive of Yoshimoto.
Viewers of the real-time shows can make requests via an electronic bulletin board.
Hitoshi Ogawa, the chief producer at Casty, has asked an aspiring writer, a black-tea master, a poet and fortuneteller to make Webcasts at Hikari So. One musician even lived at the house.
Ogawa has also been showing animated films with titles such as “How many 1 yen coins can you count in 24 hours?”
One of the most popular shows involves a hamster nicknamed Todoroki Sensei (Teacher Todoroki) running all night long.
“Nobody knows how to use optical (fiber communications),” Ogawa said, adding he hopes what he is doing will give users ideas about how to use the technology.
The company is now studying whether to allow people who make new products to pitch them on Webcasts.