Why didn’t the Japanese music destroyed by downloading?

article/Chen Xianjiang source: tencent technology

Japan would overtake the United States as the world’s largest music market, this year is a hot topic of global music industry. In 2012, according to data released earlier the IFPI, the scale of the Japanese music industry is $4.42 billion, after the us $4.48 billion, ranked second. But given America’s music industry fell by 0.5% last year, and the Japanese music industry grew by 4%, if the trend continues to persist, Japan will no doubt at the end of 2013 as the world’s largest music market.

however, we cannot therefore concluded that the Japanese music without a hit from downloading. In fact, like the rest of the world, Japan’s music industry over the years has also been strong impact of digital music, Japanese music market has from a peak of $6.4 billion (2000) dropped to 4.42 billion now, down by a third industry. But compared with the American music industry from 2000 in 14 billion to 4.48 billion, Japan is relatively lucky. And, with the us and the UK market of digital music downloads are increasing, digital music is on the decline in Japan, Japan’s digital music downloads decreased by 25% last year, and completely reverse the global trend.

why digital music in Japan is not like in other regions showed a devastating blow to the traditional recording industry? There are three main reasons:

Different consumption habits

the so-called digital music impact to the traditional recording industry, it is the change of consumption patterns and consumption habits. The audience from consumption entity records into digital flow, so the traditional industry has been hit.

however, over the past decade, although there is also a phenomenon of illegal downloads, while iTunes into early, but Japan’s traditional music is not like the United States are very severe shock, one important reason is that in Japan, idol consumption is a very important part of music industry, and Japanese consumers for the idol is very loyal. As MTV work for 17 years in Japan, Alan Swarts puts it, “crazy fans will want to buy 1 album 3 different version, or to vote for AKB48 disposable sold 100 albums”, it is no wonder that haze or AKB48 has maintained high physical CD sales.

and celebrities all the entity record of secondary development (reprint or revision, etc.) is the important driving force of the entity record sales growth in Japan. This kind of situation in America and Britain are relatively rare, European and American audience consumption works more than consumer idol, British and American idol also as well as Japanese idol with strong dominance.

traditional music for the strict control of the whole industry

it is not enough to see the power of the fan, China also has a crazy fan, why the market is still so poor? Because the traditional recording industry lost control in the whole market. This kind of situation will not happened in Japan. In both rights management, sales channels and consumption habits of guidance, the traditional Japanese music industry giants are control is very strict, this makes the new digital music at bay.

in iTunes, for example. In Japan, the cost of the download a song is an average of 250 yen (us $2.5), while in the United States, to download a song only need $0.99. 250 yen in Japan’s second-hand record store to buy a CD, a new classic sakamoto record 1000 yen to buy the cheapest. 250 yen to buy a song is not affordable for consumers. This may be the digital music market in one of the reasons why Japan failed to develop. Is it reflected the traditional Japanese music of channel control, record companies understand very, a lower price of digital music, entity records will suffer.

in addition, the control also reflect on the strict copyright management. Japan is likely to be most strictly for copyright control area, in addition to high royalty, illegal uploading and downloading will severely the law. (upload sentenced to up to 10 years, criminal detention) under the strict legal protection, copyright owners take the “negative” measures to resist the invasion of digital music. Such as Japan’s SONY on iTunes took a very strong “boycott” policy, until the end of last year to allow iTunes sales in Japan SONY music artists.

Japan has enough diversity and subdivision of the music market

in addition to the idol consumption, Japan still have enough diversity and subdivision of the music market. Pop, rock, electronic music, the scene, festival and its derivatives, CDS and DVDS, record companies can develop enough products for the consumer to choose, let the market has maintained a certain vitality. China’s music market is relatively drab, once hit, it is easier to collapse.

pluralism and segment of the market and develop the Japanese audience very high music needs. Ever been to Japan record stores all friends were attracted by the variety of music will be shocked, this is enough to justify the Japanese demand for music. Market is determined by the demand and needs more work more can guarantee the prosperity of the market. Plus two reasons stated earlier, in the case of Internet penetration rate is as high as 80%, Japan entity sales are not impacted by the music download too intense it is not surprising.

personal introduction: senior media person, micro letter: the new music industry observation, micro signal: takoff