- In Japan, there are 111 million mobile subscribers, 92.5 million of them use mobile data services – that’s 83 percent of the subscriber base, or 72 percent of the population. | Dentsu
- Mobile advertising expenditure in Japan is 15-38 percent of the total global figure
- All major mobile sites run their own membership/opt-in programs and distribute promotional offers and newsletters.
- Quick response (QR) codes are commonly used in print media, on packaging and on desktop Websites to link to mobile
- Contactless transactions via Near Field Communication (NFC) are gaining ground in the retail and payments space.
- For most major campaigns, advertisers work with operators directly. Each carrier has a joint venture with one of the largest advertising agencies in Japan. D2 Communications is jointly run by network operator NTT DoCoMo and ad agency Dentsu.
- Spend has been shifting to mobile social networks, blogs and video-sharing sites. NTT DoCoMo, which has the largest deck, has 15,000 official sites on its i-mode service.
- Mobile operators have expanded and updated their search functions through partnership. NTT DoCoMo and au KDDI both partnered with Google, while SoftBank Mobile works with Yahoo Japan.
- Companies like McDonald’s introduced an NFC-based version called Kazasu Coupons, which lets users download coupons through a mobile application and touch a reader/writer at the point of sale to instantly redeem their coupons, as well as pay for the purchase, and receive loyalty points. According to McDonald’s investor relations (in Japanese) there are over 16 million registered users on their mobile site – that’s more than 12 percent of the Japanese population.
- Three major mobile social networks: Mixi Mobile (the 18.6 million users generate 22.5 billion mobile page views/month, Mobagetown (15.8 million users, generate 38 billion mobile page views/month) and Mobile GREE (16.7 million users, 24.7 billion mobile page views/months.
- 75 percent of Japanese mobile data users are on flat-rate plans, this removed the psychological cost barrier for mobile data access.
- 3G handset penetration is extremely high.
- Japanese mobile network operators never tried to get into the content business themselves
- The standard messaging technology is mobile email, not SMS and MMS
Watch the evolution of the mobile Web industry in Japan here.