FRI Report:The hero content which women crave for

If you hear the words “hero content”, what kind of content do you imagine? Most people would probably think of content whose target is a male audience. There are also hero contents popular among women, of course, but in most cases they haven’t been planned to attract a female audience.
In these present times when the female market for content consumption is growing, it is believed to be very important for the creation of content to keep in mind this large portion of young women who interact with content. In this report we will analyze the content preferences and perspectives shared by many women, focusing especially on young women in the 20s, in order to think about which hero contents they are craving for.

■ Women in their 20s can be divided into 3 layers, the “spending layer”, the “propagative layer” and the “conservative layer”
Recently it’s common to hear terms like “yume-joshi” or “fu-joshi”, words which cluster groups of women depending on their hobbies and preferences. However, these categorizations don’t seem to have any characteristic to them in regard to their “behavior” towards content. So in our present research we have clustered groups of women in their 20s by focusing on “what kind of behavior they present in relation to their interactions with content”. First we interviewed women from ages 24 to 29 and asked them about their behavior towards their relation with the contents they usually watch. We mainly made a selection from the 9 points below.
1.I recommend it to my friends and colleagues when I meet up with them in person
2.I recommend it to my friends and colleagues by SNS
3.When I recommend it to my friends and colleagues I also lend them (or gift them) a copy of the DVD / Blu-ray, etc
4.I write reviews and comments about it online
5.I compile some information about it, organize it, and post it online
6.I make my own derivative fan-work and post it publicly online
7.I research information related to the content
8.I purchase items or merchandise related to the content
9.I take the items or merchandise which I have purchased and sell them as second-hand goods

At the end of 2015 our company held a Web survey, the “Fields Yoka Survey 2016” (*1) to study people’s different senses of value and behavior regarding content and leisure. From that data we managed to extract the 9 points used above as questions regarding one’s conduct after interacting with content during one’s leisure.
Basing ourselves on the results of the survey, we performed a clustering analysis (*2) of the answers to these 9 questions given by 834 women in their 20s, and this allowed us to further categorize them into 3 groups. The numbers inside the () correspond to the amount of people.

① The “spending layer” (43) …people whose characteristic behavior is to research information about the content and purchase goods / merchandise related to it.
② The”propagative layer” (100) …people whose characteristic behavior is to share and publish their impressions / recommendations on the Internet or to their friends and colleagues.
③ The “conservative layer” (691) …people who don’t show much behavior in relation to content.

In this article we will mainly focus on the two groups which most pro-actively interact with content, that is to say the “spending layer” and the “propagative layer”. What kind of people are those who fall into these two categories? We will now present a few of our findings extracted from the aforementioned web survey.

■ The stability-oriented “spending layer” and the socially ambitious “propagative layer”
First let’s take a look at the perspective and personality of people in the spending layer. We found that people in the spending layer have a much stronger desire for stability than people in the other clusters, and a higher percentage of them gave answers such as “I want to live a calm life in my home town” (67%), or “I don’t want to leave the area I grew up in” (47%). On the other hand, people in the propagative layer seem to have a much higher social ambition than people in other clusters, and a higher percentage of them gave answers such as “I want to have a successful career” (71%), or “I want to reach an important position in society” (52%). Also, even though 40% of the people in other clusters answered that “I want to interact with a lot of people” (60%), people in this cluster gave this answer considerably many more times, and seemed to be a very sociable group of people. (Graph 1).

■ The “propagative layer” is very assertive in its transmission of information via SNS
Regarding the 5 main SNS services (LINE, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pixiv) we asked them if they had used them in the last year. In response, the propagative layer had used them all except Pixiv much more than the other layers, which made us deduce that they have a high affinity with SNS (graph 2). Also, regarding the way of using SNS, this layer is also more likely to “publish” things on SNS than the other groups (graph 3), meaning they are a very active group when it comes to information transfer.

■ The “spending layer” has a very characteristic preference for content
We asked them whether they liked or disliked a list of 90 productions by a famous Japanese IP, and among the content which they replied as having liked, most of them chose up to 3 items from the list which we had designated as representing the most charming titles. We use the dual scale method (*3) to map out the items which each cluster found charming (graph 4). Using this method, we plotted the “relative closeness” of each item onto a plane. Essentially, we were able to say which of the plotted groups had closer preferences.
Looking at the graph which we based on this plotting, first we see that men in their 20s have tastes which are very far apart. But women in their 20s, if we consider the majority of them to be close to the two groups of the “propagative layer” and the “conservative layer”, we see that the “spending layer” has tastes which are much further apart from those two, meaning that their tastes are much more unique and individual.

■ The spending layer is more visually oriented, and the propagative layer is more theme-oriented
Next we will look at the top 3 elements which each group focus on the most.
Among all people in their 20s these are in 1st place “action scenes”, in 2nd place “inner growth ” and in 3rd place “a worldview”. For the spending layer these are in 1st place “visuals / looks”, in 2nd place “a worldview” and in 3rd place “internal issues such as how to live one’s life, belief, etc”. Then the propagative layer chose in 1st place “inner growth “, in 2nd place “looks / visuals” and in 3rd place “internal issues such as how to live one’s life, belief, etc”.
Furthermore, we also selected which elements were relatively important for each group (graph 5). First, let’s take a look at the elements which the propagative layer considers relatively important, in comparison to the whole of women in their 20s. As we mentioned before, the propagative layer has tastes which are similar to those held by the majority of women in the 20s, so there isn’t a great separation between them, but one small detail is that they seem to place a relatively higher level of importance on elements such as “theme / message”. On the other hand, compared to the rest of women in their 20s, the spending layer places a higher level of importance on elements like “looks / visuals” or “actors / voice actors / music”.
From these results we were able to see that if one were to produce some content specifically for the spending layer, instead of focusing on the top 3 elements, it would be better to focus on the “actors / voice actors / music” used for the content.
If we were to give an example of content which includes the preferred qualities of each group, we could say that the spending layer prefers “Touken Ranbu”, “Hatsune Miku” and “Sengoku Basara”, whereas the propagative layer prefers “Wolf Children”, “Harry Potter”, “Fullmetal Alchemist” or “Big Hero 6”.

■ Final comments
Based on our analysis so far, we can suggest a few characteristics for a possible hero content which would appeal to women.
Among women in their 20s, if one were to try to market a content to them it would be important to create something which reduces all the elements expected both by the spending and the propagative layers into one single piece of content. Then, from the perspective of content creation itself, the spending layer would need “looks / visuals” as well as a good selection of “actors / voice actors / music”, whereas the propagative layer would need a good “theme / message”. So it would be good to think of ideas for content which included a high percentage of these elements.
In this article we have only talked of the “elements” within a piece of content, but in order to continue our analysis we would probably need to include an effective character creation, story development, and even many methods of promotion.

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(*1) “Fields Yoka Survey 2016”
A web survey conducted by our company on December of 2015. It asked 10,000 participants from all over the country, of ages ranging form primary schoolers to 64-year-olds, about their sense of value attached to certain leisure time activities.
(*2) “Cluster analysis”
It implies the creation of communities (clusters) of mixed groups (targets) with different qualities, which then group together based on their similarities. This is the general term used for referring to the method of analysis for these targets.
(*3) “Dual scaling method”
A method which calculates the relative distance between each item, and plots it on a 2-axis plane. In our present research this has been used with data inputted from the preferred elements of each layer of people.
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(Article: Maki Kobayashi)

Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.

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