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Japan has older mobile users

News, 03 November 2015

TOKYO: Japan has a significantly higher proportion of mobile users over the age of 55 than other developed countries, according to a new report from comScore.

At 39.2%, this is far ahead of other countries with ageing populations – in the UK, for example, the figure was 31.2%, in Italy, 31.8%. The US, on 29.6%, was among the lowest of those highlighted in the measurement company's 2015 Japan Digital Audience Report, which compares data for desktop users aged 15+ and mobile users aged 13+ between May 2014 and May 2015.

Desktop usage in Japan is also skewed towards the over-55s, although they underindex in terms of the amount of time spent online, Campaign Asia-Pacific reported.

While mobile is gaining an increasing share of page hits, comScore cautioned that was not necessarily an indication of the PC's decline. Over the period considered, non-PC traffic – mostly smartphones and tablets – increased from 29.7% to 31.0% as these devices created most of the "new" digital page views.

It is also evident that mobile users are increasingly using their devices to watch video or TV – the number doing so was up 4.6% in 2015 to 9.46m – and to listen to music – consumption on smartphones jumped 13.69% over the same period to total 15.5m.

ComScore further reported that online video and retail engagement was higher in Japan than the global average, although here its figures were limited to desktop access.

On this basis, Japanese users had watched an average of 238.5 videos over the 12 months to May 2015, compared to a worldwide figure of 204.3; the contrast was even more marked in the previous year when the figure for Japan was 295.0 and for the world 179.4.

The decline, said comScore, could be attributed to increased use of smartphones and tablets to consume video content.

The company also noted that video advertising is growing in Japan, with service providers stepping up their activities in anticipation of major growth opportunities.

As regards online retail, the study showed that Japanese desktop visitors spent an average of 84.6 minutes on online retail properties in May 2015, up from 75.3 a year earlier.

That contrasted with the figure for the rest of Asia Pacific, where the time spent fell from 124.1 minutes to 85.3; globally the decline was less dramatic, from 94 minutes to 82.2.

Once again the assumption must be that more time is being spent on mobile – and mobile retail is growing, with purchases up from 6.9m to 7.5m and more people spending greater amounts.

Data sourced from Campaign; additional content by Warc staff