A few weeks ago, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry announced that the Japanese music industry saw revenue growth of 3.4% in 2018. The Recording Industry Association of Japan recently released its year-end report for 2018, going more into detail about the state of the industry over the course of last year.
In 2018, the revenue of the physical market, which includes CDs, vinyl, DVD, and Blu-rays, increased by 4% over the previous year to 240.3 billion yen. This was the first time in three years that there were consecutive years of growth. However, 2018 also saw a 4% decline in the number of units produced compared to the previous year, totalling 194.63 million units.
The digital market’s revenue increased by 13% compared to 2017, totalling 64.5 billion yen. This was the fifth consecutive year of growth and marked the first time in seven years that this segment topped 60 billion yen.
Together, the physical and digital markets saw an increase of 5% over the previous year, totalling 304.8 billion yen. 2015 was the last time the industry saw consecutive years of growth and was also the last time the market’s value topped 300 billion yen.
In regard to music audio discs, the number of units produced fell by 10% compared to 2017 to 139.34 million units, while revenue from this segment decreased 9% to 157.6 billion yen. The number of CD albums produced decreased by 13% to 88.65 million units, while their revenue fell by 12% to 114.7 billion yen. In terms of CD singles, the number produced and the segment’s revenue both saw declines of 4%, to 48.62 million units and 39.5 billion yen, respectively. The vinyl market saw its fifth consecutive year of growth in 2018. This segment saw an increase in the number of units produced of 5% to 1.12 million units, while revenue grew by 8% to 2.1 billion yen. The vinyl market had not crossed the 2 billion yen mark in 18 years.
In terms of music video discs, the number of units produced increased by 15% compared to the previous year to 55.30 million, while revenue grew by 42% to 82.7 billion yen. The number of DVDs produced increased by 5% to 41.40 million units, while revenue grew by 26% to 45.9 billion yen. In regards to Blu-rays, the unit production grew by 60% to 13.90 million units, while revenue increased by 69% to 36.8 billion yen.
Based on revenue, the physical market is 66% audio discs and 34% video discs.
When it comes to the digital market, downloads fell by 3% in 2018 compared to the previous year to 107.03 million downloads. Download revenue fell by 5% to 25.6 billion yen. On the other hand, streaming grew by 33% to 34.9 billion yen. Based on revenue, streaming surpassed downloads for the first time in 2018, with 54% of digital market share compared to 40%, respectively. The remaining 6% of the digital market is comprised of ringback tones (2%), master ringtones (1%), and miscellaneous (3%).
In terms of total revenue, the Japanese market is 79% physical and 21% digital.