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Global recorded music market grows 9.7%, shapeshifts

  • Tower Records Japan recently announced that the tenth floor of its Shinjuku outlet will be turned over exclusively to vinyl with space for around 70,000 records. Business must be booming. However, not only is vinyl still big in Japan but so are CDs. They occupy the display racks of Tower Records’ numerous other floors. It’s a similar story in the busy Disk Union stores dotted around the city.

    This jives with the IFPI’s 2019 report, issued this week, that Japan is not only the second largest market in the world for recorded music – the largest remains the USA – but that 71% of Japan’s revenue comes from physical formats. That’s almost double the second largest market for vinyl, CDs etc.: Poland with 47%. In third place sits Germany with 35%.

    And yet physical format sales still grew in Japan by 2.3% last year. More staunchly defying a global downturn in physical sales (-10.1%) were India and South Korea with increases of 21.2% and 28.8% respectively.

    Worldwide digital revenue (from streaming and downloads) grew 21.1% with paid streaming service uptake (+32.9%) more than offsetting downloads’ cliff jump — down 21.2% to 7.7% of market share. That’s more than vinyl’s 3.6% market share and a long way short of the CD’s 21%.

    Music consumption in 2019 remains as format diverse as ever.

    Further information: IFPI

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is an occasional contributor to 6moons but has previously written pieces for TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile. John used to live in Sydney. Now he lives in Berlin.

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