The Consumption of English-language Music Videos on YouTube in Japan

Gillis-Furutaka, Amanda. 2017. The Consumption of English-language Music Videos on YouTube in Japan. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (The Consumption of English-language Music Videos on YouTube in Japan)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Euro-American (Western) popular music has been imported, performed and adapted to Japanese musical sensibilities since 1854. It influenced Japanese popular music throughout the 20th century and can be heard everywhere these days in shops, on university campuses, at school festivals, on the radio and television, and at the live shows of touring artists. Although record sales indicate the dominance of the domestic industry, especially the J-pop market, young Japanese people are actively consuming Western music through YouTube. This study demonstrates the eclectic musical tastes of young Japanese people today and the role of YouTube as a music platform.

Using a mixed methods approach that combines a survey of over 500 university undergraduates with interviews and focus group work with 82 students, a rich description is presented of the ways in which music videos on YouTube are consumed mainly through mobile digital devices. The data show that the music videos themselves are watched with varying levels of engagement because music provides a background accompaniment to other activities much of the time. Nevertheless, certain types of music video, such as those with skilful dancing, great originality, or a dramatic storyline, tend to attract higher levels of engagement and repeated viewings. The role of English-language lyrics and the priority given to melody and rhythm are also explored.

Although many of the YouTube viewing practices of young Japanese audiences resemble those of their Western counterparts, this study highlights attitudes, values and expectations of Japanese and non-Japanese artists that are unique to Japanese audiences. In doing so, it underscores the need for investigating global phenomena in local (non-Western) contexts and sharing those findings to build a more accurate understanding of music video consumption through YouTube worldwide.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


music video, YouTube, Japan, popular music, J-pop, globalisation, globalization

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



30 September 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2018 11:24

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 15:34


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)