One in Four Japanese Have Read an eBook in the Past Year

8197916069_2a38651a6b_oWith the Japanese ebook market reaching an estimated billion dollars in value in 2014, we knew there had to be a lot of ebook buyers. And now we know there's a lot of ebook readers.

Rakuten has published the results of a consumer survey into Japanese reading habits. The survey found that 79% of respondents had read a paper book in the past year.

Of that total, about three-quarters read only paper books, while another quarter read both print and ebooks (57.2% and 21.8%, totaling 79.4%).

A tiny fraction of the survey group only read ebooks, and not print (2.4%). Combine that with the mixed format readers and we get 24.2% of the survey group reading ebooks (a number very close to the number of Germans who had read an ebook in the past year).

With an average of 34% of people in their 20s and 30s reporting that they had read an ebook in the past year, the ebook readers tended to be younger than average. In comparison, only 17.7% of respondents in their 40s, 50s, and 60s had read an ebook.

Like the Pew report on US readers from earlier this week, Japanese ebook readers also tended to be  young women, with 44% of women in their 20s saying that they had read an ebook in the past year.

And finally, the survey also found that Japanese ebook readers are following the same usage trends that we've been seeing in other markets. The most commonly used reading device were smartphones (43.4%), followed by tablets (25.2%) and laptops (12.4%). The smartphone users tended to be under 60 years of age, while senior citizens were more likely to read on tablets or ereaders.

A total of 1,000 men and women respondents aged 20 to 69 were randomly selected from the approximately 2.3 million subjects registered with Rakuten Research to complete the survey, which was conducted earlier this month.

image by adelie33_Asako

About Nate Hoffelder (11591 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on One in Four Japanese Have Read an eBook in the Past Year

  1. Does anyone here have experience using e-readers for Japanese language books?

    I’m currently thinking either Kobo or Kindle, but am open to suggestions.

    Thanks!

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