September 5, 2023
Podcasts are quickly gaining popularity among Japanese internet users, particularly among the younger demographics. However, the potential for growth is immense. As our survey reveals, creating compelling content and increasing public awareness about podcasts can dramatically boost engagement levels. It's clear that the burgeoning podcast industry represents an untapped goldmine for savvy businesses ready to tune into consumer preferences.
A comprehensive industry survey, conducted by the Z.com Engagement Lab from June 8, 2023, to June 11, 2023, provides an in-depth understanding of the podcast listener in Japan. Surveying 1320 Japanese Internet users aged between 16 and 60, the report aims to help business decision-makers across related sectors grasp common consumers' perspectives in the post-COVID era.
The survey indicates that 26.9% of Japanese Internet users know what a podcast is, with male recognition slightly higher than females. Notably, the younger generation shows slightly higher awareness, with about 31% of users between the ages of 16 and 39 knowing about podcasts. Among the 50-60 age group, this recognition drops to approximately 20%.
A total of 14.1% of users have listened to a podcast, with 5.8% having listened continuously in the past month, and 8.3% not having listened for over a month. The profile of continuous listeners primarily comprises males (66.3% male; 33.7% female), with the primary user age groups being 16-29 years (21.9%) and 30-39 years (29.9%).
Around 35% of users who have not yet listened to a podcast indicated they did not understand what a podcast was. Other common reasons included uncertainty about which app to use (19.7%) and lack of time to listen (18.6%).
More than half (52.8%) of users who had not listened to a podcast in the past month mentioned the lack of interesting content as the primary reason. This indicates the urgency for content enrichment to encourage continuous listening.
Spotify emerged as the most popular platform for podcast listening, used by 47.6% of users, followed by Amazon Music (26.2%), Apple Podcast (25.6%), and Google Podcast (17.1%). The younger demographic, 16-29 years old, heavily favored Spotify (54.9%).
The leading motivations for podcast listening included the convenience of listening at any time and anywhere, and as a pastime. Interestingly, more women cited background music as a motivation than men, who preferred acquiring real-time news.
Approximately 80% of podcast listeners have regular programs they tune into. Popular genres include music (54.5%), TV shows/movies (36.4%), sports (35.1%), health and fitness (33.6%), and news (31.2%). Other genres attracting listener interest range from comedy (24.6%) to leisure (20.8%) and novels (19.5%), indicating a broad scope for entertainment and leisure demand. Over 60% of these regular listeners typically follow 1-3 programs.
This survey provides a crucial understanding of the podcast landscape in Japan, helping stakeholders navigate this burgeoning space. Further, it sheds light on the potential challenges and opportunities that lie within the Japanese podcast market.
Z.com Engagement Lab will continue to track the podcast listening habits of the Japanese public and update survey data, monitoring market trends and changes in consumer demand.