A few days ago, Oricon released its report on how the music industry performed in 2015. The report talked about the sales of music formats which Oricon counts: CD singles, CD albums, music DVDs, and music Blu-rays. Across these 4 formats, 102,106,000 units were sold in total, a decrease of 2.8% compared to 2014. Total revenue from these formats was 286.69 billion yen, a 0.2％ decrease compared to the previous year.
In recent years, the format in which music is consumed via video has undergone some changes. The number of Blu-rays sold has increased, resulting in lower DVD sales. CDs are the center of the audio music sector, but album sales are declining.
CD singles sold 44,518,000 units in 2015, up 0.9% compared to 2014. The revenue from CD singles was 60.44 billion yen, an increase of 0.9% compared to the previous year. AKB48 were the leaders in this sector due to their million-selling singles, but acts such Nogizaka46 are breaking through in this sector as well.
In 2015, CD albums sold 47,030,000 units, a decrease of 6.6% compared to the year before. CD albums revenue was 153.54 billion yen, down 1.5% compared to 2014. In January 2015, SEKAI NO OWARI, AKB48, and Sandaime J Soul Brothers released their albums back to back to back, resulting in a growth in the CD albums sector in the first half of 2015 of 1.5% compared to that of the first half of 2014. This momentum couldn’t be sustained in the second half of 2015 though.
Music DVDs sold 6,818,000 units in 2015, down 8% compared to 2014. Music DVDs brought in 42.4 billion yen, a decrease of 7.5%. On the other hand, music Blu-rays sold 3,739,000 units last year, up 20.1% compared to 2014. The revenue from music Blu-rays was 30.32 billion yen, an increase of 18% compared to 2014. Music Blu-ray sales have increased every year since 2010. 2015 was the first year that this sector reached the 30 billion yen mark. However, for the top selling releases in the music DVD / Blu-ray sector, DVD sales still outweigh Blu-ray sales. For instance, Arashi’s “ARASHI BLAST in Hawaii” has a ratio of 5.5 DVDs to 4.5 Blu-rays. For every 3 DVD copies of Sandaime J Soul Brothers’ “Sandaime J Soul Brothers LIVE TOUR 2015 ‘BLUE PLANET'” sold, 1 Blu-ray is bought. The complete migration from DVD to Blu-ray has a while to go.
Looking at things by genre, JPop showed signs of recovery from a sluggish 2014. In 2015, JPop sold 76,390,000 units, down 0.7% compared to the year before. However, the revenue generated by JPop was 226.86 billion yen, up 2.5%. The potential main cause for this rise in revenue is due to Mr.Children and Southern All Stars releasing new albums, albums which had higher priced special editions with more bonuses attached to them.
Anime music had a good 2015. It sold 11,361,000 units, up 11.6％ compared to the year before. The revenue generated by anime music was 25.83 billion yen, up 8.9%. The debut of μ’s on last year’s Kohaku Uta Gassen shows how this sector is growing. Also, projects related to “THE IDOLM@STER” have a big impact of this genre.
Also included in the report was the ranking of the top record labels in Japan for 2015. For the fourth year in a row, Avex Group is on top with 47.89 billion yen in revenue and a 16.7% share of the market. Sandaime J Soul Brothers, Kis-My-Ft2, Tohoshinki, EXILE and SKE48 were the main acts which contributed to Avex staying on top in 2015.
The rest of the top 3 was the same as 2014. Sony Music Entertainment was second with 37.5 billion yen in revenue and a market share of 13.1%. Third place went to Universal Music, which had 35.08 billion yen in revenue and a 12.2% share of the market.
Toy’s Factory nearly doubled its revenue in 2015, with sales up 44%. This resulted in Toy’s Factory jumping from #13 in 2014 to #7 in 2015. Mr.Children’s new album had a big impact on the company’s growth, as did releases by Yuzu, SEKAI NO OWARI, BUMP OF CHICKEN, BABYMETAL and Dempagumi.inc.
Top Music Labels
1. Avex Group (Revenue: 47.89 billion yen / Market share: 16.7% / Year on year revenue: 97.4%)
2. Sony Music Entertainment (Revenue: 37.5 billion yen / Market share: 13.1% / Year on year revenue: 93.9%)
3. Universal Music (Revenue: 35.08 billion yen / Market share: 12.2% / Year on year revenue: 100.1%)
4. J Storm (Revenue: 23.56 billion yen / Market share: 8.2% / Year on year revenue: 117.9%)
5. King Records (Revenue: 20.43 billion yen / Market share: 7.1% / Year on year revenue: 104.4%)
6. Victor Entertainment (Revenue: 13.19 billion yen / Market share: 4.6% / Year on year revenue: 98.3%)
7. Toy’s Factory (Revenue: 11.09 billion yen / Market share: 3.9% / Year on year revenue: 197.6%)
8. Warner Music Japan (Revenue: 9.16 billion yen / Market share: 3.2% / Year on year revenue: 79.2%)
9. Pony Canyon (Revenue: 8.35 billion yen / Market share: 2.9% / Year on year revenue: 95.9%)
10. Lantis (Revenue: 7.78 billion yen / Market share: 2.7% / Year on year revenue: 105.4%)