Japan Market Business Consultation
Digital Marketing Specialist

News and Blog

News and Blog

Japanese digital consumption – what’s the story?

If you’re considering expanding into the Japanese market, you’ll more than likely have found it a little difficult to access any definitive data on Japanese device use and media consumption. We’re here to change that with the very latest research to help inform your digital marketing strategies and planning ahead of your Japanese market entry.

There’s a digital shift happening right now

According to the 2018 Reuters Institute Digital News Report on Japan, a digital shift is happening right now. Where the traditional media landscape has seen newspapers thrive (over 40 million print newspapers are sold every day in Japan) more and more, consumers are heading online to access the news each day. The economic newspaper Nikkei is spearheading this shift and has made online exclusives a priority. It now serves around 558,900 digital subscribers – all of whom will find their smartphones lighting up with a briefing from the newspaper at 6.00pm each day according to Reuters.

Social media networks

Japanese consumers have a voracious appetite for video, which is reflected in the fact that YouTube is by far and away the most popular of all social media networks at 51%. This is a very meaningful figure as you plot your Japenese digital marketing strategy because it underlines the importance of factoring video content into your efforts.

While the Western world loves Facebook, it’s only the fourth most popular social network in Japan with 22% share. Twitter (27%) and Line (27%) are more popular in Japan than the largest global social media platform, suggesting simply applying your existing social approach won’t give the results you desire. Instagram may be picking up new user accounts in the west at the rate of millions but it’s the least used in Japan and sixth in the popularity stakes with just 12%.

Mobile media consumption is at an all time high

While we have seen that printed newspapers have been a big part of daily life in Japan, a digital shift is happening and mobile media consumption is now at an all time high. According to the Media and the Japanese Consumer 2019 report, mobile phone and tablet use is encroaching on analogue channels such as TV, radio and print. While mobile device consumption was just 3% in 2006, it’s hit 34% in 2019.

The amount of time spent on mobile devices is also at a record high, with the average consumer spending 103.1 minutes per day consuming media via a mobile device.

The bulk of the time spent with a mobile device is dedicated to social media networking, with social media adoption forecasted to grow 2.1% in 2019. This growth is expected to be fuelled by older generations following younger family members online.

Desk top v laptop

The eMarketer Japanese trends report has slightly different figures and predictions but it agrees that mobile device and online use overall is growing. In its time spent with media forecast, it says 41.3% of online usage will occur on desktop / laptop devices with 58.8% allocated to mobile. It also expects that mobile use will accelerate over the course of the next two years.