The Japanese music market -- the world's second-biggest -- continued its decline in the first three quarters of 2004, based on production data released by labels body the Recording Industry Assn. of J

The Japanese music market -- the world's second-biggest -- continued its decline in the first three quarters of 2004, based on production data released by labels body the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan.

Production of pre-recorded audio software by the RIAJ's 42 member companies in the first nine months of 2004 totaled 226.7 million units, down 4% from the corresponding period in 2003. The wholesale value of audio software was ¥269.2 billion ($2.5 billion), down 6%.

According to the RIAJ, the decline was largely due to lower production of domestic product, which fell 6% to 169.7 million units. In value terms, domestic product slipped 7% to ¥192.1 billion ($1.8 billion). On the other hand, production of foreign product rose 3% to 57 million units, for a value of ¥77.1 billion ($722.6 million), down 2%.