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Streaming revenues have overtaken download sales in Japan


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Figures published by Japanese industry body RIAJ show that 2018 was a digital-music tipping point for the recorded-music industry there: streaming revenues overtook download revenues for the first time.

The RIAJ’s figuresshow that streaming generated ¥34.9bn (around $315.2m) over the full year. Meanwhile, Japanese download revenues for 2018 totalled ¥25.6bn (around $231.5m). The streaming revenues included a 130% year-on-year increase for subscription-audio revenues, which at just over ¥31bn accounted for 48.1% of overall Japanese digital-music revenues.

In a market where YouTube remains the most popular way for people to listen to music, however, ad-supported music-video revenues were up by 162% year-on-year to just under ¥3bn. Remember, too, that these figures are all just digital: Japan remains a heavily-physical market, so we’ll find out in April (when the IFPI publishes its Global Music Report) how all this streaming growth intersects with the trends in CD sales in Japan.

Stuart Dredge

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