VIZ Announces Digital Content Division, VIZ Labs

VIZ MEDIA CREATES VIZ LABS TO DRIVE DIGITAL CONTENT INNOVATION
New Division To Be Led By Gagan Singh

San Francisco, CA, April 23, 2012VIZ Media, the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga, graphic novels and anime in North America, announced the formation of VIZ Labs, a new division of the company led by Gagan Singh, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. VIZ Labs will focus on innovation in digital content distribution, and will consolidate engineering and digital business efforts across the company into one group. VIZ Media has recently been selectively acquiring engineering talent, and that acquisition strategy will continue under VIZ Labs.

“Innovation in distribution is an integral part of VIZ Media’s future,” said Ken Sasaki, President and CEO of VIZ Media. “As a long-time partner of the company, Gagan helped us shape our digital content strategy, and we’re delighted to have him join our team full time.”

VIZ Labs and Singh are responsible for integrating technology across the entire company, including the digital platforms for VIZ Manga and VIZ Anime. Prior to joining VIZ Media, Singh was the Founder and CEO of West Side Labs, a long time technology partner for VIZ Media. With advanced degrees from Harvard, MIT and UC Berkeley, Singh joins VIZ Media with a wealth of experience.

“I am honored and excited to join VIZ Media,” said Singh. “With all VIZ Media has already accomplished in building a digital content platform, there is still phenomenal opportunity and growth potential for the company. VIZ Labs will be the tip of the spear to drive the innovation that brings the manga & anime our fans love through their preferred digital platform.”

Over the past 18 months, VIZ Media has transformed the traditional manga and anime business through a variety of strategic partnerships and digital platforms, making manga and anime more accessible than ever before. VIZ Media’s anime titles rank among the most popular streaming entertainment series online, thanks to partnerships with Apple, Hulu and Netflix. The VIZ Manga digital platform was an industry breakthrough, making high-quality, legal translations of the world’s most loved manga available at VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga apps for iPhone®, iPod® touch and iPad®. VIZ Media took things even further when it introduced Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, a digital manga anthology making the most popular manga series in the world available in the United States within two weeks of their original Japanese release, faster than ever before in the history of the industry. VIZ Labs will announce its first major initiative and VIZ Media’s next digital platform this summer.