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

One in Four Japanese Have Read an eBook in the Past Year Rakuten surveys & polls With 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

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

3 Comments

  1. Doug H22 October, 2015

    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!

    Reply
  2. […] One in Four Japanese Readers Read an Ebook in Past Year (Digital Reader) With 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, finding that 79 percent of respondents had read a paper book in the past year. […]

    Reply
  3. […] reading other surveys from other countries such as Japan, the UK, or Germany, it's difficult to judge what this survey means or whether it's […]

    Reply

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