Netflix has scored a major partnership with telecom giant SoftBank in preparation of its impending entry into the Japanese market. With this partnership, SoftBank will offer Netflix subscription via the stores and digital outlets it owns, with the monthly fee conveniently included in its mobile carrier bill. Moreover, Netflix’s mobile app will be pre-installed on SoftBank phones, which is a noteworthy move for the OTT content service as it starts to pay attention to mobile streaming.
What Brands Should Do
For brands seeking global expansion, partnering up with a local industry leader is often a good approach. Last year, Uber partnered with Chinese search giant Baidu to better compete with the local ride-hailing apps. In addition, we are seeing more and more digital content companies and telecom companies teaming up for expanding reach, reducing payment friction, and better monetization opportunities, such as Hulu’s recent partnerships with Cablevision and AT&T. And brands of all types need to be mindful of the changing media landscape and adjust media strategy accordingly.
Fueled by purchases from South Korea and Japan, Google Play’s revenue increased 67% over the past 6 months, as compared to Apple’s 15% increase over the same time period. That said, Apple’s App Store earned about 2.6 times more revenue in the proceeding quarter, largely due to the fact that its market share is so much larger. Google Play’s growth is still worth noting, however, and the third, fourth, and fifth most revenue generating apps were from Japan and Korea, pointing to a much larger trend of increased spending abroad.
Revenues from the Google Play store in Japan have grown by a factor of 4.5, besting U.S. totals for the first time. Android is dominating the Japanese market and apps are proving more lucrative for developers as well, particularly with the growth of in-app purchases and advertising. As the President of Kontagent points out, Android may monetize less well than iOS, but user acquisition costs are lower.
3D Printing Booth Launches In Japan
Sony’s Music Unlimited becomes first major streaming service to launch in Japan
“In order to understand the future of the mobile market in the US, look to Japan.” This has been the common perception for years, so recent numbers in the smartphone market pose an interesting question. North America saw a 78.7% increase in smartphone sales between Q2 of 2008 and Q2 of 2007. During the same period, Japan saw a 24% decrease.
Why is there such a split, and what does it mean? In the United States, the best and newest features exist primarily on smartphones. In Japan meanwhile, all handsets have similar features and the primary difference between smartphones and normal mobile phones is the QWERTY keyboard – an input method most Japanese find cumbersome in comparison with the keypads on standard mobiles. However, the nail in the coffin for the Japanese smartphone market is aesthetics. A look at the site for docomo’s upcoming mobiles demonstrates this point clearly: they are works of art. All highly functional, choice in the Japanese mobile market is influenced by how the phone works as a fashion accessory. According to a MyVoice survey, over 70% of respondents considered design an important factor in choosing their mobile phone. Continue reading “Not “Made in Japan?””