Digital music delivery figures of Q1 2006 (+ correction)

Last week, the Recording Industry Association of Japan released its “sales figures of digital music delivery” for the period January-March 2006. Surprisingly high numbers, but the “% vs. pre. Period” in the original table seemed a bit too steep. Apparently, the RIAJ made a mistake: the numbers of the “% vs. pre. Period” actually reflect the “% vs. same period last year”, while the comparison with Q4 2005 (= the previous period) is simply omitted.

I dug up the sales figures of 2005 and completed the Q1 2006 table with the missing data.

  1st Quarter (Jan. – Mar.) 2006
units (’000) units: share units: % vs. previous period units: % vs. same period last year value (JPY ’000) value: share value: % vs. previous period value: % vs. same period last year
Internet Downloads 5,916 7% 119% 534% 1,220,498 10% 140% 393%
Mobile Digital Content 83,031 93% 107% 163% 10,928,720 90% 114% 173%
Other 17 0% 121% 212% 23,992 0% 71% 139%
Grand total 88,964 100% 108% 171% 12,173,210 100% 116% 183%

A couple of notes:

  • Read the small text: “figures represent singles on a ‘per-track’ basis and albums/mini-albums on a ‘per-album’ basis […]”. In other words: the number of individual “internet download” tracks sold is probably higher than the 5,916,000 “units” in the table.
  • The numbers for Mobile Digital Content are hard to believe: 83,031,000 units downloaded, and 10,928,720,000 Yen spent (about 131 Yen/unit = about the price for a song, as there are no full album downloads available, I believe). If you plot the 10,928,720,000 Yen against the number of mobile phone users (a littlebit less than 90 million as of March 2006, according to Wikipedia), you get 121 Yen spent per person per three months. And that’s on average! For a heavily DRMed product!
  • The “Other” category then, is a bit of a mystery—the small text helpfully explains “Other: other than the above 2 items”. Well, thank you.

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  1. […] The image below (numbers on the Y axis are in Million Yen) shows that the incredibly big mobile download market is still growing, while revenues of internet downloads (à la iTMS) are… declining. […]

    » chosaq » Declining internet music downloads in Japan? on January 19th, 2007 at 18:56