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Business News (more headlines) 03-15-2014

Japanese Recorded Music Market Declined By 15 Per Cent In 2013

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The recorded music market in Japan declined by 15 per cent in 2013 in trade revenue terms, according to figures from RIAJ, the organisation that represents the Japanese recording industry. Total trade revenues totalled 312.1 billion yen (US$3.20 billion), compared to 365.1 (US$3.74 billion) billion yen in 2012.

Trade revenues to record companies from physical format sales declined by 13 per cent, a fall attributed primarily to the lack of major album releases after a strong year in 2012. The industry saw fewer major releases from leading established artists in 2013, with no single album release selling more than one million copies. There has been a stronger start to 2014 however, with physical format sales in January already up 21 per cent year-on-year and one album release sold more than one million copies in January.

Digital revenues declined by 23 per cent, mainly due a sharp fall in demand for personalized mobile products such as ringtones.

The Japanese recorded music industry is adapting to the digital music market, but is in a challenging phase of transition with digital revenue models at an earlier stage of development than in many other leading markets.

Revenues from download and subscription services are growing sharply from a small base and are expected to see further growth in 2014, helped by anticipated new market entrants. Download sales across PCs and smartphones increased by 122 per cent in value in 2013, while subscription services delivered a 518 per cent increase in revenues in 2013.

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