For years, Japan’s music market–the second largest in the world–was seriously robust. The Japanese displayed a preference for physical product producing reliably fat margins for the domestic industry. Even after iTunes’ Japanese debut in 2005, consumers demonstrated a hunger for CDs instead of digital tracks.
But things started to go wrong in 2013 when the market dropped by about 4%, enough to negatively affect the global market. Last year was even worse with the Japanese market dropping by 4.6%. When the worldwide numbers for 2014 are released in the coming weeks, the finger for the planetary drop in music sales will once again wag towards Japan.
For more details and the raw numbers, go to Billboard.