The Recording Industry Association of Japan's annual report of digital music sales shows, yet again, a downward trend over the course of 2013, with overall sales and revenue decreasing from 2012 to 2013.
The RIAJ reports Japanese consumers purchased 216 million digital units of music -- including singles, albums, ringtones and more -- in 2013, to come in at a 20% drop from the previous year's 271 million, at least partly due to the rise of smartphones and the sunset of 'feature' phones. The contraction resulted in a 23% decrease in digital revenue, with 2013 bringing in 41 billion yen (approximately $403.4 million), down from 2012's sales of 54 billion yen (approximately $531.3 million). Categories with the biggest decreases were ringtones (down 51% over 2012), mobile single track sales (down 56%) and mobile music videos (down 62%). It's important to note that, in the RIAJ's case, 'mobile' denotes purchases from 'feature' phones, not smartphones, which are categorized as internet downloads.
Yet again, Japan's physical market dwarfs digital -- similar to Germany's industry -- though the downward trend continued for physical purchases as well. The total value of the physical market in 2013 was 270.4 billion yen (about $2.6 billion), down from 310.8 billion yen (about $3.05 billion).