Nikkei Entertainment does a yearly release of their surveys on talent in Japan. The release includes 2 charts, one on male talent, and another on female talent, with a total of over 1280 artists. They take 2 values into consideration, public recognition and interest rate. BABYMETAL has popular enough to be included since 2015.

BABYMETAL has risen on both public recognition and interest for this year’s Talent Power Ranking. This represents a recovery after drops in 2017 and 2018.

Find all the data for this year (and previous ones) below, along with my analysis, the known methodology, and sources.


Data On BABYMETAL

The data shows that BABYMETAL is recognized by name and face by 24% of the Japanese population, and 17.3% of people have interest in them (listening to their music, want to know about them, etc.). Of those that recognize them, 72% have an interest in them.

These first 2 numbers represent new highs for BABYMETAL, the previous being 23% recognition in 2017 and 16.3% interest in 2018. The interest relative to recognition is just under the 2018 peak of 73%.

In regards to year-over-year, BABYMETAL’s public recognition has risen after a 2 year fall (+9%), meanwhile the public interest rises (+18%) and recovers last year’s fall.

These are all of BABYMETAL’s numbers since they started being measured in 2015, with their respective year-over-year changes:

Not noted there (but used as the axis in the main chart) is the amount of interest of those that recognize them, which is as follows:

Note that the values represent the “performance” from the previous year, as the survey is done over the previous year and early in the year of release.


BABYMETAL Data Analysis

Note that this is my analysis. Don’t take it as fact, just my opinion on reading the data.

After 2 not-so-great years, BABYMETAL has regained their losses and increased their notoriety a bit more among the Japanese population. This is undoubtably pushed by the mix of more PR, an album release, a TV appearance, magazine covers, interviews, a return to Japanese festivals, more shows, and more. Hopefully BABYMETAL can keep this up, even if they don’t release a new album or new songs this or the next year.

It is sad to mention, of course, that the pandemic will show its effects on next year’s data release of all artists. But imagining if things got back to normal for next year, it still seems to me that BABYMETAL may lag behind the 2015-2016 growth. Here is my take on that:

We can’t know anything from before 2015 sadly, but we can see that 2015, and especially 2016 were great years of growth for BABYMETAL, which came to a halt in 2017.

Their recognition dropped off in 2017 with less media presence, and then again in 2018. The drop was not big, but considering that they just came off a 29% increase in 2015 and a 48% increase in 2016, it was a large drop overall. The interest held during 2017 (+4%), but again, was not a good number considering it grew 42% after 2015 and 54% after 2016. It did end up falling after 2018 (-10%).

As mention, it did recover and grow a bit more, but the change between years is still much lower than 2015-2016. First and foremost, I figure a lot of that comes from the fact it’s harder to grow once you are larger (less possible new people to find you). Also of note is that they are no longer a “new” band, as some still considered them in 2016. But it’s also a fact that all those things mentioned in 2019 pale in comparison to those in 2015-2016. Back then the media campaign was much, much, larger. One thing not taken into account by many is that in 2019 and 2020 they only played in the 3 areas around Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. These are the largest populated areas in Japan, but that is still leaving about half the Japanese population not covered. In 2015 and 2016, they played lots of festivals and solo shows across Japan, even if still behind other similar artists. Consider that BABYMETAL has played less shows in Japan since 2016 than the US. I believe that if BABYMETAL wants to return to those crazy levels of growth, it will be very hard (but not impossible) to do without the help of those things.

In any case, BABYMETAL is back to growth they lost in 2017-2018, even if it will see its efforts hampered by the pandemic. It’s also good to note all these things are in Japan. We sadly don’t have good info of outside Japan, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see BABYMETAL’s growth never really stopped.


Source Data

For the main data for all artists, here is the main chart for female artists, with BABYMETAL marked:

Note that the data has the recognition percentage on the horizontal (bottom) axis, and on the vertical (left) axis it’s interest relative to the recognition.

This means that the 72% of people that are interested in BABYMETAL is taken from the 24% that can recognize them, which means that 17.3% of the general population recognize them (as is written above in the BABYMETAL section).

A kind person has grabbed the data and divided it into female idols exclusively:

Previous Years

Here is last year’s post on BABYMETAL data, which were rough stats, as both had drops for the first time.

Female Idol group data from previous years:


Methodology

Note: the source for this is from 2018, and sadly the translator had part of the page cut off, which is why some of the methodology is not written here. But do know that more selection methods and questions are apparently asked.

  • Survey: They conduct the survey via fax & web 4 times a year: Feb, May, Aug, and Nov. in regions across Japan (Tokyo, Chiba + others). Each time, they surveyed approximately 1200 people. They also use other selection methods.
  • Recognition – They asked the respondents if they know the name and the face. If they do, then they recognized the talent.
  • Interest – For the group that recognized the talent, they were further asked if they would listen, watch, or find out about the person. The possible answers are 1) very interested, 2) interested, 3) not interested, 4) absolutely not interested. The % is based on a weighted average of those who were very interested and interested.

Sources


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