Following the 2016 survey, the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducted the “Survey on Media Use” from November through December 2017, using a drop-off/pick-up method, to which 2,340 persons responded. This year the authors report the findings, focusing on the following four themes.(1) 4K/8K: The recognition rate of 4K television increased from the previous year (72% to 76%) for the entire respondents, and so did the recognition rate of 8K (47% to 55%). For 4K, there was an increase in those “very interested in it” (4% to 5%) as well as in those “somewhat interested in it” (24% to 31).(2) Simultaneous online distribution of broadcast programs: The recognition rate was 35%, and those willing to use the services accounted for 41%. By age and gender, it is revealed there is a constant demand among young and middle-aged groups, such as more than half of men aged 16 to 29 and women in their 30s responding they were willing to use the services.(3) Fee-based video streaming services: The subscription rate rose from the previous year for the entire respondents (4% to 7%), but those willing to subscribe fell (20% to 13%), which highlights the challenge of how to attract more people.(4) News site apps: For the entire respondents, the most used site was “Yahoo! News” (44%), followed by “LINE NEWS” (22%). By age and gender, “LINE NEWS” (60%) outnumbered “Yahoo! News” (50%) for women aged 16 to 29. Many cited “easy to use” as the reason for using the site.
This paper reports how the BBC is developing its multi-platform strategy as a public service media in the age of convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications by presenting its current status, challenges, and specific strategy based on field research and interviews with persons in charge that the author conducted in February 2018. Broadcasters are placing more emphasis on providing news and other content on the internet and social media in addition to conventional platforms such as television and radio. In the United States, it is not rare to see major broadcasters utilize more than 20 platforms. In the United Kingdom, the BBC also provides services via the internet and social media platforms. In terms of news, BBC News launched the “Future of News” project in 2014, and the Mobile and Online department, which was established as part of the initiative, promotes the multi-platform utilization. The BBC takes different approaches for different platforms such as Facebook and Twitter according to the results of users surveys and has a great number of followers from all over the world. However, compared to the U.S. major commercial broadcasters, the BBC’s platform usage is limited. Knowing the importance of utilizing diverse platforms, the BBC takes cautious steps by examining costs and effects. Its strategic goal is not merely “improving reach” but “to provide everyone with necessary information” to fulfill its public mission. Meanwhile, in regards to programming, its channel for the youth BBC Three terminated broadcasts two years ago to become exclusively online and keeps producing ambitious programs. Although BBC Three’s going only-online is regarded as a success, some mentioned decreasing viewing time as a challenge facing the channel.
In 2017, the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducted experimental courses using archived NHK programs at four North American universities: Princeton University, Harvard University, and Dartmouth College in the United States and the University of Toronto in Canada. A total of 136 students participated in the courses. The works included war-related programs such as "The Great Tokyo Air Raids," "War Voices from Manchukuo," and "Japanese Americans in WWII," programs showing current Japanese lives and customs such as "Lunch ON!" (workers at lunchtime), and "A Greengrocer Without Borders" (in Tokyo multinational quarter), and humanity documentaries such as "Cyborgs: A Future of Hope" (human story of a robot researcher). These programs were delivered via the internet exclusively to the students and academics. Students watched them in advance and engaged in lively discussions led by the academics.The results of the courses reveal that North American universities are eager to utilize NHK's programs as course materials for at least three purposes: 1) to help study Japan 2) to help learn Japanese language 3) to help understand universal social issues The initial intention of setting up experimental courses were to make the programs useful for university academics specialized in Japan, but as wider needs such as 2) and 3) were discovered, we have come to realize the further potential of NHK programs' international distribution. This article overviews these experimental courses based on our field research, along with the results of surveys of students, and examines the present and the future of program distribution business for educational use.
NHK’s Kyou no Ryouri (Today’s Menu) is a long-running cooking program with a 60 year history. Now that people can easily find recipes via smartphones and buy prepared foods to save them from cooking, the program is somewhat being tested in terms of its raison d’être.The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute organized the NHK BUNKEN FORUM 2018 Presentations of Research Reports in March 2018, in which a symposium “Sixty-Year History of Kyou no Ryouri (Today’s Menu) and Prospects for the Future” was held, inviting Yoshiharu Doi, culinary researcher, Kensuke Suzuki, Associate Professor School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University, and Akiko Kawamura, freelance television director involved in the production of Kyou no Ryouri over four decades. Reflecting on the history of the series, the panelists discussed the meaning of communicating the attractiveness of homemade cooking, the role played by the program, and how the series should evolve in the future.Mr. Doi articulated the role of the program should be to “help the viewers realize their potential of creating their own lives by themselves though handmade home cooking.” Prof. Suzuki commented on the internet distribution of recipes that the program had been putting effort into in recent years saying, “Its strength is to be able to provide content with highly public nature even if it won’t make much money.” Regarding the future of the series, Ms. Kawamura said, “Kyou no Ryouri gives viewers a sense of ease as they directly see the faces of the cooks, feel the warmth, and watch the content always at the same time. Keeping the stance that the program has not changed over 60 years may be the winning theory.”Where should this time-honored cooking program be heading with the changing times? This article reviews the discussion at the symposium to find clues to the future of the program from the 60-year history of the series and remarks of the panelists.