Publisher Protection

How Kobe Shimbun NEXT Protects Japanese Users


Kobe Shimbun NEXT is a Japanese news site delivering local news focusing on the Hyogo prefecture and current nationwide events to a vast audience across Japan. Since its launch in October 2012, the site has featured current news in real time, from local daily information to the latest news from Japan and abroad. The company’s subscription-based revenue model requires that Kobe go the extra mile to safeguard user experience and curate a continuously high-quality, on-brand experience.


New Japanese advertising regulations, along with an influx of malicious and deceptive advertising, including fraudulent brand ads, threatened Kobe’s relationships with its users and trusted advertising partners. Kobe identified unwanted advertising which directly drove users away from the site, eventually causing them to cancel their subscriptions. 

The company’s internal teams were not equipped with the resources or technology to eliminate all unwanted ads, leading to growing bounce rates and increasing user churn. To defend against unwanted ads, Kobe’s internal team had to manually track down unwanted ads, investigate them, request that all SSPs suspend delivery, and take independent measures to block bad ads on the ad server. 

“Our previous manual process was time-consuming and inefficient, as we had to operate multiple tools and communication channels on every single case. After detecting the source that served a specific bad ad, we had to spend time communicating the issue to our demand partners. But that didn’t assure that they would take immediate action or that a similar issue would not be served later.”
Itaru Morizane
Web Marketing Department, Digital Promotion Bureau at Kobe Shimbun.

The Solution

Kobe began working with GeoEdge’s real-time solution and immediately gained the control and protection needed to thrive in the Japanese digital advertising ecosystem. GeoEdge detects and blocks malicious advertisements on Kobe’s behalf in real-time, significantly reducing the resources previously spent on blocking ads manually. This solution allows Kobe to easily set customized blocking rules that safeguard against malicious ads before they can ever go live across all of Kobe Shimbun’s domains and affect all programmatic channels, all on a single platform.

GeoEdge has enabled Kobe’s internal teams to focus on their core business and improve their subscription rates, bounce rate, and churn rate compared to annual average rates. “Since partnering with GeoEdge, not only have ad-related issues disappeared, all user engagement metrics have improved, including churn and bounce rates. Our partnership with GeoEdge has been instrumental to our improved user experience.”

“With GeoEdge’s real-time blocking service, the timespan from when a complaint is received until all the ad’s details are detected (such as its banner and landing page domain) and we can assure that the ad is blocked across our ecosystem, has been shortened from days to minutes. Moreover, using GeoEdge’s tools such as AdWatch, content verticals, and domain blocking, we can proactively block all ads which do not comply with our content policy.”
Itaru Morizane
Web Marketing Department, Digital Promotion Bureau at Kobe Shimbun.


Since integrating GeoEdge’s real-time blocking service, the amount of time and effort that Kobe’s team spends on ad blocking has drastically been reduced, and reports of user complaints have disappeared. This automated protection safeguards Kobe’s users from experiencing malicious or low-quality advertisements. It also prevents brand damage to advertising partners who serve ads on Kobe’s site and don’t want their ads shown alongside low-quality ads. GeoEdge’s automation of Kobe’s ad quality process streamlines Kobe’s workflows, saving precious time and resources.

Kobe Shimbun’s team can now easily work with all of its partners, knowing that user experience is protected. GeoEdge’s advanced localization tools ensure Kobe remains compliant with local Japanese regulations, including the recent amendment to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law. GeoEdge protection supports Kobe in its mission to ensure brand safety and create an environment where advertisements can be distributed and viewed safely, even in the post-cookie era.


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