Despite a year-end surge in shipments of domestic product, physical sales in the Japanese music market continued to shrink in 2007, with international repertoire particularly badly hit.

According to data released Jan. 18 by the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan, shipments of recorded music product (including music videos and DVDs) by its 45 member companies last year were down 8% on a year-on-year basis at 318.7 million units. Wholesale value was 391.1 billion yen ($3.6 billion), down 4%.

Excluding music videos and music DVDs, shipments of CDs, cassette tapes and LPs fell 10% in volume to 266.8 million units, and 5% in value to 333.3 billion yen ($3.1 billion).

Shipments of domestic repertoire (excluding music videos and DVDs) in 2007 fell 6% to 204.2 million units, for a wholesale value of 256.8 billion yen ($2.4 billion), down 1%; shipments of international product (again, excluding music videos and DVDs) plunged 23% in volume terms to 62.6 million units, for a value of 76.5 billion yen ($713.6 million), down 17%.

The RIAJ says that shipments of domestic music videos and DVDs rose 7% to 47.5 million units, for a wholesale value of 51 billion yen ($476.1 million), up 4%, while shipments of international music videos and DVDs fell 11% to 4.4 million units, for a wholesale value of 6.8 billion yen ($63.1 million), down 13%.

An otherwise disappointing year ended on an optimistic note, as million-plus shipments for albums by male pop/R&B group Exile (Avex Marketing) and male pop/folk duo Kobukuro (Warner Music Japan) led a strong showing by local talent which powered a 5% rise in recorded-music shipments during December to 20.9 million units, for a wholesale value of 34.8 billion yen ($324.8 million), up 46%.

The RIAJ says it will release 2007 digital shipments data by the end of February.

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