Japan - Digital Economy and Digital Media - Historical

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Last updated: 2 Jun 2015 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 12

Analyst: Paul Kwon


Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Japan has taken steps to develop a digital economy. Businesses, governments and private citizens have been instrumental in creating the online content and services that make up the digital economy.

Japan possesses a large and vibrant television industry due to its unique culture and market size. Japanese television stations are vertically integrated as they engage in program planning, production, scheduling and broadcasting. To maximise revenue generation from created content Japanese broadcasters work aggressively to monetize content through various methods including converting popular programming into movies for the big screen, DVD and related merchandising, holding events, distributing content through the Internet and selling program formats to overseas stations. However revenue in Japan’s TV market is primarily derived from advertising.

Japan also possesses a vibrant multichannel pay TV industry with services readily accessible across Japan via cable TV (CATV), satellite, IPTV and Over-the-top (OTT) Video-on-Demand (VoD). Total pay TV subscriptions are steadily growing with penetration household penetration levels lower than that of the UK or USA, indicating room for potential growth.

What is interesting to note is that although Japan has the necessary physical infrastructure to support OTT VoD, pure OTT players have not found much success as Japanese broadcasters, as the largest Japanese content producers, have traditionally been reluctant to release content to the OTT players believing it will cannibalize advertising revenue.

Key developments:

  • Japan’s is well positioned to showcase the benefits of e-health given its demography and market characteristics
  • OTT VoD struggles to take off
  • IPTV emerges as a prevalent pay TV platform on the back of widespread broadband
  • Companies covered include:

    SKY PerfecTV!, Hulu

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