Oricon clarifies new rules regarding CD sales at events

On September 5th, 2016 Oricon implemented new more strict rules regarding the sales of CDs at events. This new rule seemed to target groups that were selling their singles as boxsets. The sale of one boxset would count towards how many copies were included inside. So, if a boxset had 5 singles and a fan bought 3 of them it would count as 15 copies sold. Now boxsets only count as 1 sale. This rule also applied to events held 3 months before a release to reduce the inflation of first day sales, if a CD is pre-ordered at an event it must have a release date and title (temporary titles like “To be announced” are fine) However, there was still quite a few loopholes with both the public and some agencies not really understanding the new rules. Oricon released a statement on January 20th, 2017, but many consumers still had questions.

Oricon released another statement this month clarifying some of the questions raised. Oricon openly commented on the declining rate of CD sales, and said that these new sales tactics are a great fan service expansion, and find it responsible for helping “revitalize” the industry. However, some companies were taking advantage of these sales promotions to the point where Oricon could no longer overlook the matter. Oricon feels that achieving a high rank should not incite so much excessive competition, so expanding upon the original new strict rules Oricon went into more depth of what they entail. Three examples were provided:

1. When the only difference in a product is varying jacket covers because there are so many different members, it should not count. In the past they could be used to participate in autograph sessions which would count as a sale.

2. CDs that include application tickets which would allow you take pictures with members, but only if you purchase 4 copies of the CD (regular or limited edition). Before it would have counted as 4 individual sales, but since these applications are lotto based there’s a chance you wouldn’t even get to participate in the event.

3. There’s been instances where handshake tickets are included in CDs at random. People would bulk buy huge amounts of the product because they don’t know which member they would get until opening the CD, the more copies bought means a higher chance of getting the desired group member.

Oricon commented that they are aware of events where the commercial sales were in the 100s, but the actual sales reported at the event were tens of thousands. Oricon is asking the companies to please provide more detailed data so more accurate results can be provided. This includes the exact numbers of buyers, the number of people at the event, and the purchase breakdown when asked to provide purchase log data based upon the internal control rules. It hasn’t been revealed if companies who fail to abide by these rules would face some sort of punishment, or how they can confirm the data being sent to them is valid.

(via Oricon)

  • Comments

    • Babi Hong

      i forgot about the new rule….was there even a noticeable change in sales for idols groups loll

      i don’t think that many companies care about the rank, they are still getting $ from the multiple copies sold. do these achievements on oricon even mean anything if no one knows your songs

    • Kaediii

      It’s funny because it’s was enacted to suss out the ‘true’ sales of 46/48 groups, but H!P groups and smaller idol groups from various companies have taken the real hit. Nogi and Keyaki’s sales have actually increased, which shows that the public interest is more in favor of them despite 48 groups remaining stable.

      Again, it’s weird how the industry has remained mostly unaffected (Johnny’s groups, bands, soloists, etc.) but it’s the random idol groups and H!P groups that have been affected by this. I guess it’s a start.

      • Babi Hong

        oh yes H!P, they took a hit cuz of those single boxsets. in the past 1 boxset would equal 5-6 sales depending on how many ver. the single came in, but now those boxsets only count as 1

      • moh

        morning musume’s sales dropped by 20,000-30,000. it sucks but i’d rather know “true” numbers than have inflated numbers then wonder why they don’t end up on kouhaku/main FNS/music station for every release/have CM deals. they have a way to go but i think this new single will be an eye catcher!

      • ceh

        “it’s weird how the industry has remained mostly unaffected (Johnny’s groups, bands, soloists, etc.)”
        Why its weird? bands, johnnys, soloist rarely use the listed tactics to inflate sales The ones who do it are KPOP, 48s, H!P and LDH. Imo, The new rules are probably done to curb kpop mediaplay numbers. It seems like they still count aks 2second handshake per cd.

        • hec

          Rarely? but Johnny’s groups still do the split content (which oricon ignored for a long time) to inflate their’s don’t make them sound so innocent

          • WD79

            Johnnys may have split contents but rarely they have it with ONLY different jacket covers but same content (which Kpop mostly do). Content on each CD usually differs from each other, with the only same thing being the main title track. And Johnnys these days (with the exception of Sexy Zone and in some cases Kis-My-Ft2) don’t release more than 3 versions anymore. And 2-3 versions are what the rest of industry are releasing anyway.

            • Risa

              But selling 3 different versions with slightly varying contents is still playing that game, isn’t it? I’m a fan of some of the Johnny’s and other groups who do this and I buy the multiple copies because I want the DVD contents or other B-sides (I just shelled out major money for all versions of KinKi Kids’ ballad collections, for instance) but isn’t that more playing to fans’ willingness to dish out for extra content rather than a reflection of the popularity of the A-side or album itself? Especially when Johnny’s in particular don’t have digital downloads?

              • Sure, different versions are all about milking the fans as much as possible*, but still, those are different CDs with (slightly) different content, so Oricon gotta count them separately. As I see, these new rules were more against the agencies that did not even try to make it look as they were selling different versions, just tricked the fans to buy the very same thing over and over again.

                *unless it is just the CD only or CD+DVD choice, where you simply gotta
                choose which one you need and there is no need to buy both for different content. Those are all OK.

                • Risa

                  Good point, thank you so much for clarification! Then I guess this really was more about H!P and other groups and not at all about uncovering the 48/46 groups’ inflated sales huh? Since like Johnny’s, their releases have different content on the different versions. 🤔 That makes me confused about Arama using a picture of Kashiwagi then, lol.

                  • garlic

                    “That makes me confused about Arama using a picture of Kashiwagi”


                    • Risa

                      Great name 😂

                  • ceh

                    This really was more about Kpop and H!P. Arama should use those artists pictures for better representation….on the other hand it might be a dig at Akb48 since their 2second handshake cds and theater editions are still counted.

          • Ceh

            2-3 versions are a norm and the different editions extra contents aren’t “slight”. They actually throw money and effort to beef up the extra editions. Compare that to kpop groups who released 10-13 editions and most of it were only jacket change.

      • Kanjo Maru

        If that’s the purpose they’re a bad set of rules.

        46G never and 48G rarely adhere to those 3 practices listed.

        In reality this is only targeting groups without the ability (see: “size”) to use loopholes

    • rshina

      I’m so sorry for being stupid, but I still don’t understand the new rules. can someone explain it in a more simple way?

      • M

        If you buy multiple copies as one person it only counts as one copy.

        For example, if you buy a box set that includes 6 editions (like in H!P), that only counts as one copy towards the total sales that Oricon reports.

        Although they specifically state that this is only the case if the CDs only differ in the jackets, but have the same content… So I think in H!P’s case, where at least three editions have DVDs with different content, it’s more like 4 CDs counted rather than 6 (since the 3 regular editions are all the same, just with different jackets). I don’t quite know how it works in that case.

        Anyway, long story short: boxsets now only count as one CD purchased.

        • rshina

          then, what if you buy it in different day? it’ll count as different copy right?

    • Soyeon

      oricon is a MESS

    • DBGT

      Well, international sales is not counted in oricon, so not really care.

      • starlightshimmers

        Nobody counts international sales. Billboard 200 doesn’t count international sales, it only counts American sales. Oricon only counts Japanese sales. Official Charts UK only counts UK sales.

    • ¬_¬

      Oh, more rules that hit even more groups that don’t belong to 48/46.
      Gee, those 48/46 sure are lucky!

      • R

        You mean low tier groups like that random idol group that got #1 with 9 editions? Yeah, awesome.

        • ¬_¬

          I mean that all those rules never hit into those ~lucky 48/46 groups.

          – music cards not counted anymore – some Johnny’s and other groups
          – box sets – some Johnny’s, H!P and other groups

          all the while AKB and their 2sec handshake tickets create the most sales, lol.

          I don’t mind oricon cracking on gimmicks, but I wish they didn’t skip the most obvious one.
          It’s starting to look like oricon was bought by the people behind 48/46 – basically every idol “factory” took a hit over the years but them.

          • ceh

            It’s laughable seeing 48/46 wotas bragging that they still sell a lot with the new rules (to suss out their tru sales lol) when it wasn’t about them.

    • kamben is here

      As much as I love extra stuff, I totally respect Golden Bomber’s Kiryuuin for going out of his way to make it a rule that ALL of Golden Bomber’s releases since Rola no Kizudarake must have no extra like PVs, handshake tickets, etc AT ALL. Only one type and nothing else.

      I sure wonder how the sales for other artists would be like if they/their labels did the same thing.

      Rola no Kizudarake, the single didn’t even have a proper cover (it was just a white sheet LOL) but they managed to sell about 45,000 copies. The power of music indeed. It went beyond their expectation.

      By the way, for me it’s acceptable when singles/albums have TWO editions only (Regular Edition and a Limited Edition with PV/other extra), so people can just buy the LE if they want the extra stuff, they don’t have to buy BOTH RE & LE at the same time, but MORE than two?

      I want to strangle someone LOL

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