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Rental culture resilient, but Japan beginning to embrace digital

Japan beginning to embrace digital

Japan beginning to embrace digital

Digital video is finally beginning to gain ground in Japan, achieving 31% growth in 2014 to reach ¥81 billion ($670 million), according to new research from Futuresource Consulting.

Despite being the second largest on the planet, surpassed only by the USA, Japan’s home video market has so far been slow to take to digital. “It has a strong packaged video sector that continues to provide the lion’s share of revenues,” explains Joanna Wright, Senior Market Analyst for Futuresource, “but high broadband penetration, strong uptake of connected devices and a willingness to pay for premium entertainment are all finally coming together to galvanise interest in digital services.”

Wright  identifies Japan’s strong and growing mobile culture as another reason for the growth. “Pay-TV will continue to play an important role,” she adds, “accounting for 50% of spend last year and rising to 54% of overall video spend in 2018. This will be lower than other developed countries such as the UK and USA, as traditional Japanese broadcasters have maintained significant control over the market with free-to-air still accounting for 61% of households in 2014 and sliding down to 56% of households by 2018.”

Overall, though, packaged video continues to dominate overall home video spend, accounting for 83% of home video in 2014, with both rental and sell-through holding up comparatively well. While DVD is declining, Blu-ray is growing at nearly the same level, supported by strong sales of anime, music titles and the Hollywood hit of last year, Frozen. Japan has the second largest Blu-ray market in the world after the USA and is on track to account for 45% of sell-through spend in 2014.

Additionally, there is a strong rental culture in Japan and this plays a key role in maintaining the packaged video market, accounting for 50% of spend in 2014. Despite small declines, the sector is expected to remain significant, reaching ¥259 billion and accounting for 44% of spend in 2018.

Click here for booking and more info on Broadband and TV Connect Asia (12th-13th May 2015, Suntec, Singapore)

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