Japanese and physical newspaper consumption


Unlike many other countries, Japan’s physical newspaper market is generally healthy, as far as I am aware, and this survey from @nifty into newspapers appears to back up my opinions.

Note that some of the figures have one decimal place and some have none; this is because some figures were published to one decimal place, but others I had to estimate off a graph.

I didn’t know half of these uses in Q6! Here is a random cat helping his owner to read the newspaper:


Research results

Q1: Do you or your family read a physical newspaper? (Sample size=2,857)

Yes, for more than 50 years32.0%40.8%
Yes, for more than 40 years12.0%15.9%
Yes, for more than 30 years6.3%11.5%
Yes, for more than 20 years3.5%6.6%
Yes, for more than 10 years2.2%2.2%
Yes, for more than 5 years1.3%1.2%
Yes, irregularly1.5%0.8%
Yes, but don’t know when started4.6%2.4%
No, quit less than 5 years ago7.3%6.8%
No, quit around 10 years ago11.0%5.5%
No, quit more than 20 years ago7.9%3.2%
No, never read one10.4%3.1%

The most popular newspapers were listed, with the Asahi and Yomiuri (broadsheets) neck and neck at 21.9% versus 21.8%, then 13.8% reading a local newspaper, and 8.3% with the Nikkei (Financial Times/Wall Street Journal-like). The first tabloid was eighth, with 3.3% reading one.

Q2: Which sections of the newspaper do you usually read? (Sample size=2,857, multiple answer)

Front page, general news73.8%65.6%
Society, crime66.1%56.9%
Local news, lifestyle55.3%54.6%
Radio, television listings53.9%56.7%
Opinion, editorial28.0%25.6%
Entertainment, arts23.4%39.6%
Serialised novel, columnist, cartoon18.7%30.8%
Don’t read a newspaper18.3%22.7%

Q3: When and where do you read a physical newspaper? (Sample size=2,857, multiple answer)

On waking at home30.0%
Over breakfast at home26.6%
On returning home after work, etc22.0%
Free time14.5%
At work, school7.3%
On toilet at home5%
At lunch4%
At cafe, restaurant4%
While commuting4%
At hospital waiting room3%
At library2%
At hotel lounge2%
In bed1%
Don’t know1%
Don’t read a newspaper18.0%

Q4: What do you feel are the good things about a physical newspaper? (Sample size=2,857, multiple answer)

Can read it again any time44.4%
Can get various unbiased news44.3%
Information load is high38.5%
Important news is easy to find30.6%
There are deep and easy-to-understand explanations22.2%
In touch with local news topics19.8%
Information is correct17.8%
Television listings are easy-to-read15.9%
Can read in bright areas12.0%
Layout is easy-to-read11.7%
Has objective stance9%
Nothing in particular20%

Q5: What do you feel are the bad things about a physical newspaper? (Sample size=2,857, multiple answer)

Bothersome to save, throw away old newspapers30.8%
Information is not timely27.8%
Lots of advertisement, fliers27.5%
Lots of information of no interest to me25.3%
Information, viewpoint is biased23.3%
Cannot read in the dark15.8%
Cannot search, cannot find articles I want to read14.8%
Newspaper salespeople are pushy14.4%
Characters are small and difficult to read13.9%
Fingers get dirty10%
Waste of paper, resources10%
Too big, so difficult to read9%
Nothing in particular17%

Q6: Other than for reading, what do you use a physical newspaper for? (Sample size=2,857, multiple answer)

Protecting items when packaging56.6%60.4%
Undersheet when doing messy things, eg making items, cutting nails53.6%60.6%
Wrapping vegetables for storage50.0%74.6%
Drying damp shoes34.4%51.0%
Soaking up used oil eg from deep frying30.2%47.5%
Wrapping up paper nappies, raw rubbish27.1%36.0%
Undersheet for shoe box22.9%27.7%
Rolling up and swatting insects22.6%28.1%
Cleaning window glass, mirrors15.5%26.7%
Wiping off dishes, frying pands14.5%20.4%
Keeping pots warm7.2%10.2%
Wiping floor6.8%8.7%
Undersheet for drip-drying washing, soaking up water5.5%8.5%
Nothing in particular15.8%4.6%


Between the 7th and 13th of April 2017 2,857 members of the @nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No other demographic information was given.

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