Digital Content Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2024

Digital Content Market Keep on Expanding in Each Field

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the market of digital contents (social media, e-books, video streaming, music streaming, film & TV, online advertisement, games, information delivery, and NFTs) and found out the market overview and trends of leading companies.

Summary of Research Findings

The digital content market refers to the market for online services in general, which are consumed via digital devices like smartphones and PCs. A range of services is expanding in each field.

In view of the e-book market based on content pricing model, there are paid platforms and free platforms. Paid contents platformers offer e-book services on “regular charging model” (you pay a monthly fee or annual fee to get ‘points’ on regular basis, which can be used to pay for e-books), on “pay-per-view model” (you pay for each volume[copy]), or on “subscription model” (you get unlimited reading for fixed monthly fee). In addition to purchasing platforms, there are also “free manga platforms”, whose primary source of revenue is advertising. Among platformers of “regular charging model” and “pay-per-view model”, offering free access to pre-published books or comics as their ‘recommendation’ is a common strategy to promote users to spend more on e-books. Meanwhile, viewing by publication, magazine is the media mostly digitized against the backdrop of its short publishing intervals, and are popularly provided on “subscription model”. In addition, websites and apps offering multiple magazines are on the rise. Considering that publishers are shifting from print to digital format, the market size of e-books is expected to expand further hereafter.

In the video streaming market, while the demand for subscription service grows and free video streaming services that monetize on advertising take root, multistreaming has become very common. Video streaming services are focusing on creating original titles to enhance contents. Improvements in user convenience, such as widening a choice of watching devices, simplifying the process of joining or canceling subscriptions, and offering easy-to-understand pricing, are significantly contributing to the expansion of the market.

The market of music streaming has been growing mainly due to the penetration of music subscription services, which is synergized by active streaming of music and video by artists that were deprived of opportunities to play live. It has also become common for both major record labels and indie record labels to conduct paid concerts online or via music services or distribute videos. Online streaming has been established as a means/venue for artists to generate revenue.

In light of the online advertising market, remarkable growth was witnessed, as the vibrant consumption stemming from the reclassification of COVID-19 to Category 5 disease under the Infectious Disease Act propelled the demand. Demand grew stably for video ads for video streaming, especially in-stream ads that play before, during or after videos on video streaming sites and apps.

Noteworthy Topics

Gaming Market

The gaming market, cloud gaming in particular, has been propelled by the launch of the fifth generation (5G) connectivity in 2020. Cloud gaming is a service that streams video games using remote servers in data centers (cloud) and lets gamers play remotely on various devices. Going forward, a major market driver will be the introduction of 6G (the sixth-generation mobile communication system) that is expected around 2030. Under the current connectivity, expansion of the market is cannot be hoped for, considering that frustration over Internet connection can lead “newbies” (beginners) and casual gamers (those that play video games only occasionally) to exit gaming, or charge less on games. By speeding up the access to cloud gaming with 6G migration, the market may see increasing adoption of cloud gaming among a wider audience.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: March to May 2024
2.Research Object: Digital contents (platformers, social media, e-books, video streaming, music streaming, film & TV, online advertisement, games, information delivery, and NFTs [non-fungible tokens])
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by our expert researchers and literature research

The Digital Content Market

The digital content market in this research refers to the market for online services in general that are consumed via digital devices like smartphones or PCs, mainly targeting social media, e-books, video streaming, music streaming, film & TV, online advertisement, games, information delivery, and NFTs.

<Products and Services in the Market>

Social media, e-books, video streaming, music streaming, film & TV, online advertisement, games, information delivery, NFT

Published Report

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