Japanese men: Media Consumption

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Japanese men: Media Consumption

Japanese men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s tend to listen to radio shows via an online protocol radiko. They also watch streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and AbemaTV on their smartphones, and consume news online through Yahoo! News, LINE NEWS, Twitter, and news news. Additionally, many of them watch TV-related videos on social networking sites. Overall, men aged 25-44 account for 25% of Japanese social media users.

Japanese males' top priority tends to be work, though they are starting to search for work-life balance and give more importance to family life. Also, many of them don't value marriage, prioritizing their freedom, and financial savings. They feel the need to appear tough and successful, though they admit it's sometimes hard to live up to expectations created by masculine stereotypes.

Media Consumption and Behaviors

Radio

  • In Japan, radio advertising budgets are on the rise, compared to television and newspaper ones. While the number of traditional radio listeners keeps decreasing, more people are listening to radio programs via programs like radiko.
  • radiko is an Internet protocol that makes it possible to stream local radio shows on the smartphone, computer, smart speaker, or any other device with Internet access.
  • 5.8% of Japanese men in their 20s listen to radiko, while 2.6% choose traditional radio.
  • As for males in their 30s, 9.1% use radiko and 8% opt for traditional radio.
  • Radio shows are more popular among men in their 40s, out of whom 19.8% listen to radiko and 15.7% — to the radio. This group has the highest percentage of radiko listeners among all age ranges and genders.

Video

  • In 2018, Central Research Services in Japan conducted a survey about the attitude toward new media. With the growing popularity of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or local AbemaTV, they asked men and women from different age groups about the devices on which they watch online video.
  • In the age group 16-29, 59% of men use smartphone, 19% use laptops, and over 10% use tablets.
  • Among men in their 30s, 38% choose smartphones, while 15% prefer laptops, and over 10% — tablets.
  • In the age group 40-49, 30% use smartphones, 14% — laptops, and less than 10% — tablets.
  • 11% of men aged 16-39 watch AbemaTV, the local free video distribution service.

News Consumption

  • According to the same survey, the four most popular platforms for consuming news are Yahoo! News, LINE NEWS, Twitter, and news news.
  • 54% of men aged 16-29 use Yahoo! News, 36% — LINE NEWS, 35% — Twitter, and 7%news news.
  • As for men in their 30s, 67% opt for Yahoo! News, 23% — LINE NEWS, 12% — Twitter, and 7%news news.
  • 71% men in their 40s use Yahoo! News, 20% — LINE NEWS, 10% — Twitter, and 6%news news.

Relation Between Television and Social Networking Sites

  • The survey also notes that 34% of Japanese men in the age group 16-29 watch TV programs-related videos on social networking sites, 17% not only watch such video but also post or chat about TV via social media, and 1% only write about them.
  • Among males in their 30s, 25% watch such videos and 6% watch and post or talk about TV-related stuff.
  • In comparison, 16% of men in their 40s watch television-related videos on social networks, 2% also post or chat about them, and 1% only write.

Social Media Use

  • Based on advertising audiences on Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger, Japanese men aged 25-34 account for 14% of the country's social media users, while those aged 35-44 — for 11%.
  • An average Japanese male social media user liked, shared, and commented on one post in the last 30 days. He also clicked on two ads.

Psychographic Profile

Interests

  • According to various media sources, Japanese men don't have much free time between working overtime and being pressured to allocate more time to house duties and childcare.
  • As for those who don't have families yet, they are usually encouraged to socialize and go out drinking with coworkers after work, which leaves them with little time to pursue their hobbies.
  • When they can, many of them enjoy watching anime or idol groups, as well as engaging in different forms of online entertainment, such as gaming and using social media platforms.
  • 35.1% of Japanese males exercise regularly.
  • While the article is outdated, Japan Times listed trainspotting, mah-jongg, shogi (Japanese chess), and rakugo (a stylized Japanese form of storytelling) as male-dominated hobbies.

Attitudes

  • According to research into middle-aged Japanese people, men tend to be less happy than women. 40.4% of them demonstrated higher levels of happiness, compared to 53.4% of women.
  • According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, Japanese men do not trust the government, non-government organizations (NGOs), businesses, or media. However, they are still much more trusting than Japanese women.
  • Overall, on the scale of 0 to 100, the trust level of Japanese men is 44, 10 points higher than women. Their trust in the government is at 44 points, in the media — at 41, in NGOs — at 43, and in business — at 47.
  • Japanese men often maintain traditional masculine attitudes, which include showing their toughness and boasting about their successes. However, they are starting to complement them with more attention to their looks and displaying a gentler, more caring side toward their families.
  • In a study conducted by Lean in Tokyo, 53% of male respondents in their 20s said that life as a man "is frequently or sometimes hard," compared to 52% of those in their 30s, and 56% of those in their 40s.
  • While talking more specifically about having to live up to masculine stereotypes, men aged 20-39 expressed that they dislike the responsibility of planning the dates and paying for them.
  • In contrast, men in their 40s feel that the hardest one is being expected to work full-time until retirement.
  • When shopping online, Japanese men don't like to compare different offers, search for discounts or make additional purchases. They tend to scroll for products on train rides and choose what catches their eye on Google or Amazon, which is their platform of choice.
  • Japanese dads are likely to spend most of their money on little or young kids, prioritizing design and functionality over price.

Values

  • Japanese men are known for making work their top priority. However, in the last decade, they have become more interested in achieving work-life balance and dedicating more time to family life.
  • According to the 2019 report by the Cabinet Office of Japan, in 2016, 17.2% of men disagreed with the statement that "husbands should work and women should look after the household," 32.2% basically disagreed, 5.8% were undecided, 35.3% basically agreed, and 9.4% agreed.
  • Compared to the results from previous years, the percentage of those who disagreed or basically disagreed increased, while fewer men agreed or basically agreed.
  • While most men in their 50s have never spent time on childcare or household duties, those in their 30s are increasingly invested in family life.
  • The same can be said for men in their 20s, who are more likely to have working partners, which forces them to take on more housework. As a result, they are unlikely to go out drinking and socialize with coworkers.
  • Even though the situation is improving, prioritizing work continues to be a problem for Japanese men. They are still considered to be working too much and stressing too much about their job, which may lead to "karoshi," which is death from overwork.
  • Also, while they are more involved in house duties than before, they are still contributing less than in any other developed country.
  • For some Japanese men, changing instilled cultural values related to the roles of man and woman is so hard that even when they don't have to stay at work, they pass time in bars or Internet cafes to avoid their responsibilities at home.
  • It is worth noting that a significant number of Japanese men value their freedom and financial savings above marriage and starting a family. 24% of them hadn't married by the age of 50, while 60% of those aged 18-34 don't think about getting married yet.


Research Strategy

At first, we attempted to find statistics relating to media/channels/media platform consumption and behavior among Japanese men aged 25-45, as well as insights on their psychographic profile. We searched through academic journals, reports by research organizations with global reach, and entertainment, tech, news, and lifestyle media sites. We also scoured through English-language sites with an Asian focus, such as The South China Morning Post and the English websites of various departments of the Japanese government. However, the only information we found about this age group was related to medical research.

Then, we moved to look for information on Japanese millennial men, scouring through the same types of sources. While that strategy produced more psychographics-related insights, the sources we found were all older than 24 months.

To make sure that it is impossible to find more up-to-date information about Japanese millennials, we also tried to look through Japanese sources, using an online translator. However, articles and reports that talked about this generation in the Western understanding of the word usually provided global or US-specific data. We discovered that in Japan, the millennial generation has a considerably different age range.

According to JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co, millennials are those born and raised in the Heisei Period (post-1989). BTrax, a company with offices in Tokyo and San Francisco, provided a timeline of Japanese generations. It turned out that Japanese men aged 25-45 belong to five different generations: Post-Bubble Generation (1976-1979), 80s Generation (1980-1985), Shinjinjuri Junior Generation (1986-1995), Yutori Generation (1987-1996).

After analyzing English-language articles we found on Japanese millennial men's psychographics, we concluded that they mostly talk about the Yutori Generation, or even solely young men who are in their 20s. Therefore, the overlap with the requested age range is relatively small. For this reason, we decided to provide psychographic insights for Japanese men in general, explaining age or generation differences whenever possible.

As for statistics relating to media consumption, we found data with rather detailed age breakdowns (for example, for men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s), which we provided above. Several sources were translated from Japanese using Google Translate.

Please note that we only used Slideshare presentations as sources because they were linked on Edelman's website as a part of their report and on Kepios as a report for We Are Social and Hootsuite.
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