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We reported earlier this week on the growth of the music streaming market in Japan, but also on the still-bumpy transition for a country where physical sales are still the biggest chunk of industry revenues. That industry is evolving though: the latest example being the launch of a new “digital-first” division for Japanese distributor NexTone called ArtLed.

Focusing on independent artists and labels, it will distribute music to digital services in Japan and globally, including the key platforms in China and South Korea.

In a model familiar to digital distributors in the west, ArtLed will offer marketing and promotion services to its artists, as well as funding music videos and other projects.

“The growth of the digital market has opened up enormous opportunities for artists to reach their fans in new ways, yet Japan has lagged behind in seizing those opportunities,” said ArtLed boss Takahiko Kakiuchi. “We believe it is time for a new force to emerge in the Japanese music industry; a local, independent, digital-first, future-focused, artist-friendly company.”

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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