Japan may be the world’s second-largest recorded-music market, but in terms of music-streaming, it is still early days for a country where CD is still the prime format.
Midia Research has raised some concerns about the rate of streaming growth in Japan: “Up 30% in 2018, which puts it on a par with US for growth, but the US is a much more mature streaming market with growth beginning to slow,” claimed the company.
“Japan is at an earlier stage of streaming growth (physical still accounted for 69% of all revenues in 2018) so should be growing much faster than it is. Instead it only added $71 million of net new revenues in 2018, which represented just 3% of the global total of net new streaming revenues.”
Midia has a possible solution, suggesting that Japan should look towards the success of Tencent Music in China as an example of how to ‘monetise fandom’ in the streaming world. “A unique approach is required that combines elements of the western model and the Chinese model,” suggested Midia. “Japanese messaging app Line is perhaps the best placed to capitalise, having already built a vibrant virtual gifts business and also having a music service with around a million subscribers at the end of 2017.”