How enjoyable are cellphone novels? graph of japanese statisticsA few months ago there was a couple of articles in the US press with suspect (or just poorly-reported) statistics on cellphone literature in Japan, but at the time I didn’t have any good data to refute the stories with. However, this weekend not one, but two surveys come along, one from goo Research and one from Marsh, both reported on by, on this very topic of cellphone novels.


For the goo Research sample, between the 22nd and 25th of September 2008 1,074 people from their online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.9% of the sample were male, 16.3% in their teens, 17.5% in their twenties, 21.9% in their thirties, 16.3% in their forties, 16.2% in their fifties, and 11.8% aged sixty or older.

For the Marsh sample, on the 26th of September 2008 they interviewed 300 females from their monitor panel by means of a private internet-based questionnaire. 21.7% were in their twenties, 51.3% in their thirties, and 27.0% in their forties.

Very surprising for me is that goo Research’s mixed sample showed a higher percentage of readership than Marsh’s young female group, although the level of enjoyment was relatively similar for both groups. The reasons for this would be interesting to investigate.

Research results

First, the goo Research questions.

Q1: Do you know about cellphone novels? (Sample size=1,074)

Yes 58.5%
Just know the term 35.8%
No 5.7%

Q2: Have you ever read a cellphone novel on your mobile phone? (Sample size=1,074)

Yes (to SQ) 17.9%
No 82.1%

Q2SQ: Compared to ordinary novels, do you think cellphone novels are enjoyable? (Sample size=192)

Very enjoyable 10.9%
Quite enjoyable 44.8%
Can’t say either way 21.4%
Not really enjoyable 14.1%
Not enjoyable at all 8.8%

Next, the Marsh questions, for an all-young female panel.

Q3: Have you ever read a cellphone novel on your mobile phone? (Sample size=300)

Yes (to SQs) 15.3%
No 84.7%

Q3SQ1: Which sites or services do you obtain your cellphone novels from? (Sample size=46, multiple answer)

日本語 Romaji English Votes Percentage
魔法のiらんど Mahou no i-land Magic i-land 34 73.9%
ケータイ livedoor Keitai livedoor Mobile phone livedoor 5 10.9%
小説提示板 Shousetsu teijiban Novel bulletin board 5 10.9%
Novel-Line     0 0.0%
Other     7 15.2%

Q3SQ2: What has been your impression of the cellphone novels you have read? (Sample size=46)

All enjoyable 6.5%
Most of them enjoyable 54.3%
Most not enjoyable 19.6%
All not enjoyable 6.5%
Can’t remember 10.9%
Don’t know 2.2%

Q3SQ3: What genres of cellphone novels have you read? (Sample size=46, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Romance 42 91.3%
Fantasy 11 23.9%
Non-fiction 7 15.2%
Comedy 5 10.9%
Mystery 5 10.9%
Drama 4 8.7%
Gay love 2 4.3%
Horror 1 2.2%
Other 4 8.7%


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.