The map comes via Ken Doctor's Content Bridges and the post includes this interesting nugget:
The five largest markets for newspapers are: China, with 107 million copies sold daily; India, with 99 million copies daily; Japan, with 68 million copies daily; the United States, with nearly 51 million; and Germany, 20.6 million.Japan has less than half the population of the United States and is as technologically advanced, if not more so. What is Japan doing right and what is the U.S. doing wrong?
*UPDATE: Thanks to an anonymous commenter for passing this on: A very recent Washington Post article attributes the staying power of the Japanese newspaper market to the relatively advanced age of the Japanese population:
...older people here, like older people in much of the world, enjoy reading newspapers. "For them, it is easier to read the paper than to open their PC," said Yoshiyuki Hashiba, a professor of journalism at Sophia University in Tokyo and a former journalist for the Mainichi newspaper for 30 years.And the Japanese love their newspapers, with the average household having slightly more than one subscription. Sales are 2 1/2 times that of the United States. What might explain that?:
And Japan is chockablock with these people, who are growing in numbers. People 65 or older account for 22 percent of the population, giving Japan the highest proportion of the elderly in the world. The government projects that by 2040, this group will outnumber the 14-and-younger set by nearly 4 to 1.
Newspaper circulation, therefore, is expected to hold up reasonably well for a while, until the elderly can no longer read newsprint and die.
Japanese newspapers have other factors on their side -- a 99 percent national literacy rate and the enduring trust of their readers. A national survey this month by the Yomiuri newspaper found that 85 percent of those questioned said they trust newspaper reporting.The article points out that Japanese newspapers have resisted putting most of their content online, meaning readers are paying for what they read. As I've argued before, the ease with which information gets passed around here in the United States is great, but giving away the news does more than cut into profits, it diminishes its value both to readers and owners.
About 20 percent of U.S. readers believe all or most of what they read in daily papers, according to a 2007 "State of the News Media" report issued by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.