There are still a few places on the planet where CDs rule and streaming struggles. Nowhere is this more apparent than Japan.
Streaming services are available, but for the most part, they’ve barely made a dent in the CD market. Why? Reluctant artists.
From The Japan Times:
Streaming services were supposed to change Japan’s music industry, or at least that was the line trotted out by tech evangelists and people who were sick of overpriced CDs. In 2018, though, a couple of years after the major streaming players debuted in this country, the status quo remains largely unchanged. The only digital music destination that’s flourishing is YouTube, which has become the default go-to for younger viewers wanting not just music, but all forms of entertainment. Unfortunately, the streaming experience remains incomplete.
The reason? Many of J-pop’s biggest releases aren’t uploaded at the same time as when they come out in stores, which was also the case during the days when Japanese labels tried to create their own streaming platforms — it’s still a case of physical sales first, convenience second. Coincidentally, one of the first big names to make their music available on a streaming service was Hamasaki, whose 2016 album “M(a)de In Japan” appeared exclusively (for a time, at least) on Avex’s AWA streaming service.
Keep reading. There’s even more to the story.