Streaming has yet to make any kind of impact in Japan, although a couple of local services have launched in recent months, with Spotify continuing to eye a potential launch. It’s been beaten to the punch by Google, however: its Google Play Music All Access service is launching in Japan, with the Yomiuri Shimbun reporting on Google’s press conference announcement late last week.
Google will charge ¥980 a month (around $8.21) for the subscription service, slightly undercutting local player Line Music’s ¥1,000-a-month cost. As elsewhere in the world, Google is offering an early-adopter discount, with anyone signing up by 18 October grandfathered in to a ¥780 monthly rate. Japan’s digital music market grew by 5% in the first half of this year, although it still only accounts for 11.6% of overall music sales – with streaming a sliver of that.