Streaming Is Taking Off In Japan, 2022 Data Shows — As Both Vinyl and CD Sales Remain Strong

japanese music industry
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japanese music industry
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Photo Credit: Jezael Melgoza

The Japanese recorded music industry achieved a more than 17% year-over-year increase in digital revenue during 2022, when streaming gains (including an 18.54% YoY boost in subscription revenue) managed to offset a continued decline in downloads income, according to newly released data.

The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) just recently disclosed the performance specifics associated with the domestic recorded music industry during the fourth quarter and all of 2022. According to these figures, the world’s second-largest music market generated ¥105.02 billion ($771.32 million at the present exchange rate) from digital, including streaming as well as downloads, throughout 2022.

Within the sum, which reflects the initially mentioned 17.29% YoY boost, permanent downloads for singles, albums, and music videos alike fell by a total of 18.94% from 2021 to ¥11.45 billion ($84.08 million), per the RIAJ. Also as mentioned – and in keeping with trends in the States and elsewhere – streaming revenue grew by 24.76% YoY in Japan to hit ¥92.80 billion ($681.64 million) last year, the analysis shows.

Of course, the lion’s share of the streaming figure (¥75.62 billion/$555.34 million) resulted from subscriptions, representing the above-highlighted 18.54% YoY improvement. But Japan’s ad-supported streaming (excluding the separately categorized advert revenue from music videos) more than doubled from 2021 to reach ¥5.99 billion/$43.99 million, per the breakdown.

Rounding out the digital side of Japanese music industry revenue for 2022, ¥4.62 billion/$33.93 million came from “subscription music videos” (up 59.93% YoY), ¥6.57 billion/$48.25 million derived from “ad-supported music videos” (up 29.20% YoY), and “others” put up the remaining ¥769 million/$5.66 million.

Shifting to physical, Japan-based music fans, like those in the US, the UK, Germany, and a number of other nations, are said to have spent more on vinyl in 2022 than during 2021.

To be sure, the RIAJ relayed that vinyl had generated ¥4.34 billion/$31.84 million for the Japanese music industry in 2022, up 11.18% YoY and more than 10 times greater than 2013’s total. While domestic sales’ share of the 2022 sum increased modestly (¥2.72 billion/$19.94 million, up 4.26% YoY), international vinyl sales’ share expanded by 25.10% YoY to surpass ¥1.62 billion ($11.90 million), the data shows.

Notwithstanding vinyl’s growth (as well as streaming’s enhanced positioning) in the Japanese market, the format’s sales value remained well behind that of the long-popular CD, which is said to have accounted for ¥129.80 billion ($953.10 million) in 2022 recorded music revenue. The latter signifies a 5.31% YoY rebound and was made possible by a 6.39% YoY resurgence in domestic income (¥117.11 billion/$858.74 million), which more than made up for an international-sales slip.