Music Sales Still Declining, Japan to Blame

Meanwhile, global music industry attacks Google for failing to prevent piracy.

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According to the latest International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) report, music sales got lowered even further and have scored a 3.9% decline in 2013.

The reason behind the drop can be traced to Japan, a country described as somewhat as an anomaly due to still having a strong CDs market. However, the country's CD sales have declined by massive 16.7%, also impacting the global state.

As the report further reads, the sales drop comes as a consequence of Japan market's refusal to adapt to streaming and download services. In the other parts of the world, Europe reported a music sales jump for the first time in 13 years, whereas US sales got lowered by 3.4%.

The streaming industry did make some impressive leaps though, scoring a 50% growth and crossing the $1 billion sales mark for the first time. If Japan's sales decline was omitted, the global music industry has even managed to grow in 2013, although for mere 0.1%.

As Telegraph reports, IFPI is blaming Google for playing a crucial role in the industry's decline. According to chief executive Frances Moore, over 100 million requests were sent to the company, demanding the removal of links leading to illegal music.

Moore noted that "to be quite honest we didn't see much effect of those notices," adding that "we hope that Google will realize that it's in its own interest to do more, but we're yet to see that ... Google could do so much more."

64 comments sorted by best / new / date

    lextexrex
    Japan is a good place to be a musician. They manage to collect ALL your royalties from every radio show, internet stream, and live show. You can almost live off of moderate plays.
    purplexing
    That is the most ignorant thing I've read. The artists in Japan don't make crap, because the record companies take most of the royalties. There are many Japanese artists that don't even have the rights to their own music. Believe it or not, musicians in the west have a hell of a lot of a better chance to have a living wage out of music, than people in Japan.
    gibsongalore184
    Actually, Japanese artists tend to almost make a living off of radio plays and streams. Almost all royalties from that go to them. While CD's in Japan are actually a lot more expensive, the CD industry is pretty good. Where are you getting the information that record companies take most royalties?
    Heavymetalholic
    Im sorry, but its wayy harder then that. I have friends in japan that are musicians by profession (Japanese band) and they have to constantly tour Europe to make a living because japan's live market does not pay well or at all, unless you are known.
    Dethonator
    The Japanese are actually pretty more appreciative of music imo. Once you get past the jpop and anime openings, a lot of bands have a dedicated fanbases which lets them thrive much better in the US where bands come and go like one hit wonders or side projects of preppy kids starting indie rock bands until their parent's trust funds depletes. Plus, CD's are better, so good for Japan to sticking with CD's so that people can at least have a tangible memory of a band they once liked, rather than some megabytes on their hard drive.
    Kueller917
    CDs are probably just getting ripped to the computer anyways or played in systems that could also decode from a digital device. I'm a fan of physical mediums too but come on it's mostly nostalgia.
    Hunter14180
    Moore noted that "to be quite honest we didn't see much effect of those notices," adding that "we hope that Google will realize that it's in its own interest to do more". Last time I checked, Google was a Search Engine, not a Censorship Engine.
    svelle
    And last time I checked Google had a music store and streaming service which contributes to the income of the music industry. Greedy bastards...
    Sebo
    So. The biggest country buying CD's is "to blame" ? I don't get it
    IIKNEZII
    if cds wouldn't be so expensive and if every release wouldn't be remastered I'd probably buy CDs...
    Skinna
    yesterday i bought 8 CD Albums for less than $90, what are you complaining about? The only overpriced CD's i see these days are by mainstream artists who don't deserve the record to sell in the first place.
    RustedWithin
    So record sales tank and they blame Japan? Wake up and smell what your shoveling! How about mediocre records, less than nothing publicity and a consumer that would rather steal it than pay. The record companies can eat a dick.
    TheTrainToMars
    Japan still used stuff like Betamax and LaserDisc for a while after it stopped in the US, but it still died out eventually. I'm sure the same will happen to CD's...
    purplexing
    Japan always takes long to accommodate change. Even if they're losing this much amount of money, their market won't change until they're almost out of business.
    GravyHighway
    Every other day there's an article on how the music industry is taking a huge shit. Yeah we get it!!! Internet sucks blah blah blah!! Music sucks nowadays blah blah blah!!! Back in my day blah blah blah!!
    Abacus11
    I don't get why people blame the internet and streaming services for the decline in music sales. Sure, it's a big part of it but these articles almost always fail to mention the fact that people are just much poorer than they used to be. The horrendous economy has more people scratching just to survive every day and disposable income for tings like music just doesn't exist like it used to. I know that if I have a choice between buying groceries/paying my mortgage or rent/buying health insurance or buying new music... survival comes first
    bobmarley_fan
    It isnt Google, and it isnt any streaming service killing the music industry. It is the industry itself that is doing that. Name a truly great act that a major label has signed, and promoted, in the last 10 years. Cant think of one? Now tell me again why music sales are down.
    5t0rM
    Hate me for this, but... Industry really needs another Nu Metal-ish movement to get sales up again.
    guitarpedalboy
    this smells like BS to me! As the report further reads, the sales drop comes as a consequence of Japan market's refusal to adapt to streaming and download services. so we're blaming them because they are buying the more expensive format of music (CD's)! how dose that make sense?
    UniformRecon
    We found yet another thing to blame the decline in music sales on that doesn't make us all hypocritical for pirating music! Hoorah!
    Kueller917
    Considering there's always backlash at Google censoring search results I'd love to hear how doing so would somehow help them.
    GravyHighway
    You know who I blame? I blame the hump back whales!! They're the reason why I can never make a substantial living playing music :-( Maybe that's why all those Japanese hate them so much.
    markyj666
    F**k, the US will use any excuse to wipe the dust off their nukes.....
    Dannym95
    Blame Canada! Blame Canad--- shit, wrong country.
    Funnyname99
    Don't listen to these miserable pr*cks; they're just following the basic dullard's groupthink behaviour... You carry on trying; they can't all be winners...
    Manovvar
    maybe you should stick to "bellend"...seems to be the only thing that works for ya...bellend.
    Manovvar
    japan, whats that? oh yeahhh it's that place where they make vids of eachother eating feces and slurping down vomit for the high abundance of social rejects that keep themselves locked away in their bedrooms banging anime pillows... + who the fk buys cds any more...
    kiba56
    Go after vuze, the pirate bay, frost wire..etc.... Make file sharing sites illegal target those.
    ragnarr023
    "International Federation of the Phonographic Industry". I can't be the only one who first read, "International Federation of the Pornographic Industry".
    dan0z
    It's like watching the dinosaurs die out... just replace dinosaurs with music industry big wigs.
    GenerationKILL
    Japan is poisoning the pacific ocean with their leaky reactor and now they're killing CD sales. Thanks a lot Japan.
    bustapr
    Japan is quite an anomaly indeed in Music Industry. Music CDs are expensive as hell(often 3-4 times more expensive than in USA)and they still manage to sell enough for bands to make a living. Im not all that surprised though that the sales over there have declined so much, you can only maintain CD prices so high for so long until people start discovering all the free shit on the net in waves. And theres something about that title. Not sure if UG is trolling, baiting, misleading, or all the above...
    howyjr
    You don't need to put "got" before "lowered". Nothing "got lowered"
    azrael4h
    Sorry, but the reason music sales are down isn't because of the false flag of piracy, or anything else. It's because the main labels do not promote music, but pretty faces with little to no talent. Rarely do the major record companies do more than troll high schools and colleges looking for pretty girls and girlish boys that are willing to do anything to become famous. So the executives molest them, then sign them. Add in some computer-generated 'music', cheesy dance routines, and lip synching while live, and you have 95% of the "big stars" record companies have pushed these last 20 years (since the late 1990's). Even with talent, they're so abusive towards the musicians that those who can, and have any sense, won't have anything to do with them. Many are starting their own, independent labels. Ultimately, it's cheaper to get just anyone and spray paint them to look good, versus searching out the rare lifetime-dedicated musicians and then do the same amount of promotion. Save a little now on your milly cyruses and justin beavers, lose a lot later when the sales tank.
    minor7
    Don't blame Japan. Blame the industry bigshots for their failure to adapt, endless hoarding of money and stifling of real artists.
    hey_joe42
    I've been reading David Ellefson's new book. The music industry was ruined before MP3's according to him. It started with the radios and then got worse. The industry ruined it for themselves. So until they start taking the fans and the artists serious and treating them like human beings I support Google doing nothing to help them out.
    john.smith.1276
    Advice to all record companies1) Stop using DRM and other crapware. It only punishes honest people.(2) Stop ripping off the public and ripping off bands. You're middlemen, not producers. You scumbags put ALL the cost and risk on the bands and none on yourselves, you pay the bands a pittance, you steal the rights to THEIR work, and then you overcharge the public. Even walmart runs a more honest business than you do.People say cars are a ripoff because they lose half their value immediately after purchase. But when you compare the money bands make from records versus, the cost of distribution and advertising versus the money record companies charge music buyers, it's about a 75% difference in value. CDs, vinyl and digital music could have been sold for a quarter of what it was sold for. Bands would have made the same money, and record companies would STILL have made a profit. AND the public would have bought more music, so you'd be even richer. Or don't you pusmaggots believe in "voodoo economic"? You certainly do when it comes to tax breaks and blathering about copyright extensions.