Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Mangas download trend – will it reach western countries?

June 5th, 2007 by


While manga downloads is a growing trend in Japan, I can’t resist bringing it up as a trend we might all take part in.

As can be learned from The Japan Times Online: “In Japan, graphic novels have been a major part of society since the late 1940s, and the art form has become a key export to countries both in Asia and the West. But while printed books are costly to translate and distribute, digital propagation could make manga’s influence practically limitless. Takarajima Wondernet already has fledgling plans to offer its stories to mobile phone users in the United States or around Asia once it finds partners in those countries, and faces relatively low costs to do so. In addition, it will be easier to tweak the digital content to suit foreign users.”

Manga- a popular trend in Japan:
According to Wireless Watch Japan “the marriage between cell-phone technology and manga comic books, which are wildly popular across all ages in Japan, is a natural progression in a nation where people already download music, games and even novels onto their mobiles”.
animenewsnetwork have provided some interesting data concerning the popularity of manga downloads in Japan. In this post they refer to Infoplant (Japanese internet research firm) recent survey conducted on 5,400 mobile internet users (iMode).
91.8% knew of the existence of manga downloads,
Among them 40% had actually downloaded a manga title,
Over 60% of those surveyed reported that they plan to download manga in the future.

Manga – a potential trend in western countries:
Forrester recent report addresses the question of Europe adopting Japan’s mobile trends and suggests a cautionary approach. Taking into account that Japan is not the best predictor for trends in USA and Europe, can we still expect manga’s trend to go western? Alternatively – might this trend change faces to other western animated figures – Disney or other? 

More data from Infoplant survey report (translated by Nir Malkit, my good friend)

Sample: Male 37.2%, Female 62.8%.

Survey was conducted on 8-15 of May, 2007

Habits: those who downloaded the manga usually read it:
62.3% in bed
21.4% right after they arrive home
16.8% on the move (to/from school/work)

Types of manga downloaded (answered by those who download)
70.1% of men referred to men/boys Manga
80.5% of women referred to women/girls Manga

Download frequencies (answered by those who download)
11.9% more than 5 times a month
8.3% about 3-4 times a month
7.8% about 1-2 times a month
15.6% about 1 time in 2-3 months
13.2% about 1 time in 6 months
33.2% less than 1 time in 6 months

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The DIY trend: The market and the search for “How To”

August 5th, 2008 by


image source:

Following the DIY market, one can observe that the hobby / self efficiency based trend is still a growing business worldwide

(see data on the US DIY market, UK DIY market, Japanese DIY market, French DIY market, Global report)
For the last 2-3 years, the online habitat is making its own unique turn with sharing the do-it-yourself experience. Based on a growing demand for DIY knowledge, numerous websites and communities are dedicated to find the solution to million of “do it yourself” requests.

Observing the trend, I find the shift moving from home-repair industry (initially relied on men focus needs) to the creating and making. Do It Yourself crafts have become one of the most popular fields to develop, where companies as Etsy offer people a new way to make business out of making things. (Etsy in 2007 reports selling 1.92 million items worth a total of $26.5 million). The DIY culture is not limited to hand-making clothing or design items but extends today to community needs as well (community music, radio, television, green alternative products etc.).

Interestingly, Bill Tancer (Hitwise) in his upcoming book: “Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters” reports that “How To” queries represent nearly 3% of all US search queries, making it the most commonly search question. Following the top search queries under “how to” Bill Tancer categorized the searches into three groups:

  1. Accomplishing a task (how to: tie a tie, make a movie, solve a Rubic’s cube, draw (specifically Japanese anime characters!)
  2. Sexual needs (yes, indeed..)
  3. Self improvement (how to: lose weight, gain weight, write a resume)

Hitwise: Top US search (end of 2007)

1. How to tie a tie

2. How to have sex

3. How to kiss

4. How to lose weight

5. How to write a resume

6. How to levitate

7. How to draw

8. How to get pregnant

9. How to make out

10. How to make a video

As I myself am a search trend follower, I totally agree with Bill – if you know what millions of people search online – it does matter!

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