The Japanese music market -- the world's second-biggest -- showed a slight decline in the first three quarters of 2006, based on January-September production data released by labels body the Recording

The Japanese music market -- the world's second-biggest -- showed a slight decline in the first three quarters of 2006, based on January-September production data released by labels body the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan (RIAJ) on Oct. 17.

The volume of pre-recorded audio software by the RIAJ's 42 member companies in the first nine months of 2006 totaled 216.8 million units, down 2% from the corresponding period of 2005, the RIAJ said. During that period, the wholesale value of the market was ¥251.8 billion ($2.1 billion), down 4%.

At the same time, the volume of domestic product fell 4% to 157.1 million units, for a value of ¥184.6 billion ($1.5 billion), also down 4%. Production of foreign product, while up 1% in volume terms to 59.7 million units, declined in value terms by 4% to ¥67.2 billion ($562.4 million).

The Japanese market showed a slight improvement on a year-on-year basis in the first half, but there was a dearth of releases by big-name domestic acts in the third quarter, RIAJ notes.

Production of music videos and DVDs, meanwhile, saw a rise of 21% in volume terms to 33 million units, for a value of ¥37.8 billion ($316.8 million), up 8%.