It’s already past 1 AM but I don’t seem to be able to sleep, so I am writing this blog. I apologize to all the English-speaking readers that I have not been able to write bilingual posts in the past week. I just did not feel up to it, besides, there are books that are only published in Japanese.
The other day I read an article on the TV media industry in one of the major Japanese business magazines, written by a close friend of mine. It’s saying that in the past 20 years of constant one-way recession in Japan, Broadcasting companies have coped with decreasing ad revenue by cutting the production costs. And what happened? The proportion of variety programs increased by 50%, while drama and educational program decreased accordingly. (The production cost of variety programs are 40% less than high quality programs per GRP. ) As a result, viewership (GRP) decreased, sponsorship decreased, and more production cost cuts, lower quality programs – it’s a vicious circle.
I heard in many places that in Japan the comedy programs and comedians are becoming more and more popular in recent years. I now realized that this is not because they are more popular, but because they are cheaper to hire.
As the quality of TV programs decreases, the people who watches those programs becomes a group of lower income, lower education people. It’s almost ridiculous to advertise high-end automobiles on TV at prime time variety shows, for people watching those programs are either kids, old people, or low-income people (roughly speaking).
On the other hand, it may be a good news for a company like mine, where we sell financial products through direct marketing.
Nevertheless, I am more concerned about our society and our culture than the revenue of my company…