October 21, 2015
  • Rakuten Research, Inc.

Rakuten Research Announces Results of Survey
on Attitudes toward eBooks in Time
for Autumn Reading Season

- One in Four Read an eBook Last Year,
With People between the Ages of 20 and 59 Preferring to Read on “Smartphones”
and Those Older than 60 Preferring “Tablets” or “eBook Readers” -


Tokyo, October 21, 2015Rakuten Research carried out an online survey on attitudes toward eBooks, just in time for the autumn reading season. A total of 1,000 men and women from around Japan aged 20 to 69 were selected from among monitors registered with Rakuten Research (around 2.3 million people) to complete the survey, which was conducted from October 2 to 4, 2015, and the results from the survey are as follows.


Overview of Survey Results


About 80% of people read a paper book in the past year. One in four read an eBook.
In response to a question about reading in the past year,* approximately 80% said they had read a paper book (79.0% = “Only paper books”: 57.2%; “Paper and eBooks”: 21.8%), while 24.2% said they had read an eBook (“Only eBooks”: 2.4%; “Paper and eBooks”: 21.8%), meaning that approximately one in four read an eBook in the past year.

* “Reading” was defined as including manga and magazines.

There were approximately two times more people in their 20s and 30s who read eBooks than people in their 40s or older
Comparing the different age groups in terms of whether they read eBooks in the past year, on average 34.0% of people in their 20s and 30s read an eBook. This figure was on average 17.7% for people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s – approximately half the number of people in their 20s or 30s who read eBooks. The gender and age combination that read the most eBooks was women in their 20s, 44.0% of whom responded that they read eBooks (“Only eBooks”: 2.0%; “Paper and eBooks”:42.0%). This group surpassed other gender and age combinations in eBook reading by more than 10 points.

The most used devices for reading eBooks were “smartphones” for people between the ages of 20 and 59, and “tablets” or “eBook readers” for people aged 60 and up
When people who had read an eBook in the past year were asked what device they most commonly read eBooks on, on the whole most people answered “smartphones” (43.4%), followed by “tablets” (25.2%) and “notebook PCs” (12.4%). Looking at the difference between age groups, those between the ages of 20 and 59 most often answered “smartphones” (45.5% on average), while among people in their 60s, the number of people answering “smartphones” (14.7%) was less than the number of people who answered “tablets” (29.6%) or “eBook readers” (23.5%). The proportion of people in their 20s who answered “smartphones” was 59.5%, more than two times the number of people in that age group who answered that they used any other device more.

Survey Overview
Area: Japan
Survey target: Men and women aged 20-69
Samples returned: 1,000
Survey period: October 2 to 4, 2015
Organization conducting survey: Rakuten Research


*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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