In May 2008 Business Strategies Group, Hong Kong (www.bsgasia.com) published its JAPAN ROUND-UP report building on the last edition published by BSG in May 2007. It provides a summary of the key developments in Japan’s B2B media industry over the past year. The report is segmented into exhibitions, online & mobile and print. The following is an excerpt of key findings:
Despite its size, Japan’s B2B media market appears to be viewed by many in the industry as a sleepy, slow-growth market and as a result, it does not always seem to receive the attention that its scale demands. Activities over the past 12 months suggest that this is beginning to change in the online B2B media market, particularly as China-focused companies begin to look towards Japan for new opportunities. Alibaba.com, Baidu and eBay have all made significant announcements regarding their commitment to the Japanese market.
Key trends influencing the market in Japan include the decline of the PC as an Internet access device, the continued rise of mobile devices and the growing popularity of user-generated content. Yet, the conservative traditional Japanese media industry still appears uncertain how to address these trends although three of Japan’s leading newspapers (Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun and the Nikkei Daily) did finally acknowledge the Internet by cooperating to launch a content-sharing website.
Print media in Japan remains huge and stubbornly change-resistant
Print media is still a huge industry in Japan. Newspapers, magazines and mangas (comic books) remain big businesses. The Japanese market is home to six of the world’s top-circulating newspapers. Print magazines are extremely popular and readily available through a variety of outlets from the mega-books stores down to the ubiquitous Japanese convenience store. The traditional Japanese publishers that manage these titles are still obviously reluctant to embrace the transition from print to online and the industry has enjoyed a degree of protection from foreign competition due to language barriers and the regulatory environment. However, there are a few signs that the inevitable change is beginning to take root in Japan’s print media.
Three Japanese newspapers announce tie-up to “combat the threat” of Internet
In October last year, three leading Japanese newspapers announced they had agreed to cooperate to mitigate the threat they see from the Internet. The Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun and Nikkei Daily will cooperate in the online production and distribution of their newspapers. The three newspapers plan to set up a new, single website that will publish articles from all three publications. The president of Nikkei Inc., Ryoki Sugit, stated that “The largest purpose is to help readers realise the role of newspapers seen in the Internet media.” Courtesy: Business Strategies Group, Hong Kong – www.bsgasia.com – a BIIA Founder Member