Instagram Japan Hip-Hop Content Opportunity Analysis™ 2019-2022

July 8, 2022

Content Opportunity Methodology

  1. Measure & Categorize. Sample a large number of social posts to find ones that are significantly outperforming the average.
  2. Identify Top Themes. Identify the themes that are resonating most with the audience by sorting the themes by their aggregated performance metrics.
  3. Identify a Benchmark. Identify content themes that are performing above and under an average benchmark for the industry based on views & engagements.
  4. Identify Opportunities. Look at the data and find the content themes that are resonating with the audience based on a set of top creators.
  5. Repeat For Each Platform. Repeat the analysis for every platform that matters to your brand and audience to find platform-specific opportunities.

Instagram Content Bucket Definitions

  • Hip-Hop Commentary: Entertaining, humorous or informative videos on current news and trends in the Japanese hip-hop scene.
  • One-Take Performance: Clips taken from “First Take” a series where artists perform a song recorded in one-take in a white studio with a microphone. 
  • Sample Challenge: Content creators filming themselves throughout the day while they capture everyday sounds to sample in music they make.
  • Behind-The-Scenes: Footage or clips featuring artists behind the scenes at photoshoots or while filming music videos.
  • Rap Battle: Top rappers battling it out on stage with freestyle raps incorporating boasts, insults and wordplay to see who has the best verses. 
  • Remixes: Rappers or producers reworking or jumping on existing songs.  
  • ‘Fit Check: Videos of artists breaking down their outfits of the day. 
  • Cultural Mash-Up: Videos mashing up North American popular hits with Japanese Hip-Hop songs.
  • Interview: Video clips from long-format interviews and documentaries featuring hip-hop artists and creators. 
  • Street Stories: A video series by GQ which focuses on different aspects of Japanese street culture, hip-hop and more. 
  • Horoscope Rap: Using horoscopes to create raps about each of the zodiac signs’ traits and foretell their future.

Content buckets that had the highest average views & engagement in the Japanese hip-hop space include:

Good performing content opportunities for the Japanese hip-hop audience on Instagram include:

Substandard performing content opportunities for the Japanese hip-hop audience on Instagram include:

Low performing content opportunities for the Japanese hip-hop audience on Instagram include:

Content Opportunities:

1. Hip-Hop Commentary

HIHOP ADDICT けーけー provides entertaining, humorous or informative videos on current news and trends in the Japanese hip-hop scene.

Tactics to Implement:

  • Vibrant Subtitles: When uploading videos to Instagram, remember that the platform favours visual panache, such as the colourful subtitles in the two videos shown on the left. Additionally, reels should be visually appealing, helping to create a captivating video.
  • Video Duration: Top videos videos were 9 seconds and 26 seconds in length. 
  • Skit Format: As shown in the video to the far left, skits are a fun and effective way to create engaging content.

Content Opportunities:

  • There is a lack of educational and informative Japanese Hip-Hop content on the platform. Use reels to create content that speaks to this community. 



2. One-Take Performance

Clips of various artists performing on “The First Take” — the Japanese video series in which artists get one shot at recording a song in a white studio with a microphone. Top videos featured Chanmina and Sky-Hi × たなか. 

Tactics to Implement:

  • Instagram Video: The top two videos were shared after Instagram merged IGTV and feed videos into “Instagram Videos” in October 2021.
  • Video Length: On average, videos were 31 seconds in length.
  • High-Quality: The First Take’s success is due partly to the channel’s commitment to high image and sound quality, such as using microphones that pick up even the quietest breath and 4K resolution support*.

Content Opportunities:

  • As female rappers like Awich and Chanmina rise in popularity in Japan (and across the world), a space can be made for women in the Japanese hip-hop scene. Create a series to leverage up and coming female MCs who are breaking new ground.




3. Sample Challenge

Matt Cab takes everyday sounds—from a baseball team, his child’s toy or an iPhone unboxing—and transforms them into catchy beats on Instagram.

Tactics to Implement:

  • Limited Hashtags: Both videos featured only four hashtags in their captions. Instagram suggests using 3-5 hashtags per post as the platform slowly pivots towards semantic keywords. 
  • AMSR: The first video on the left uses the sounds from an iPhone opening to create an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) for viewers — a popular form of content on social media since the pandemic.

Content Opportunities:

  • On a platform filled with unoriginal and trite content, people are seeking creative and entertaining videos. Pair musical talents with creative challenges to create content which stands out on Instagram such as hosting their own AMSR segment with items that are important to them in their lives.



4. Behind-the-Scenes

Top videos featured the behind-the-scenes action with BIM, JP THE WAVY, and LEX while filming a music video in a supermarket and YUTA’s photoshoot for the November 2021 cover of GQ Japan.  

Tactics to Implement:

  • BTS: Giving viewers behind-the-scenes access can help establish virtual proximity while allowing artists and creators the opportunity to showcase upcoming projects and collaborations. 
  • Reels: In this content bucket, 60% of the videos were reels and were optimized for the 9:16 reel ratio.

Content Opportunities:

  • Behind-the-scenes content can help build deeper relationships with your audiences and tease upcoming projects. Repurpose B-roll as a way to get extra content that helps elevate the personalities and unique moments with featured artists.



Viral Videos:These videos were omitted from their content buckets as ‘viral’ outliers for exceeding 3x the views and engagements of their respective benchmarks.

1. Sample Challenge

Tactics:This video was created in partnership with the Yomiuri Giants. In the video, Matt Cab takes samples of sounds made by players and the game to make a catchy track. 


2. Interviews

Tactics: Format -The two viral Interview videos were around 30 seconds long.

Content: This viral video featured a clip from an interview with PUNPEE & YZERR & Kentaro Fujii while they discussed their thoughts hip-hop and feelings about the state of the industry.



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