Wholesale shipments decline 15% in value, 14% in units.

The Japanese music market declined sharply on a wholesale shipment basis during the first quarter, based on data released today (April 19) by the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan.

Shipments of pre-recorded audio software by the RIAJ's 42 member companies totalled 69.2 million units, down 14% from first-quarter 2004. Wholesale value reached 85.8 billion yen ($797.6 million), down 15%.

Domestic audio shipments fell 17% to 51.5 million units, for a value down 16% to 63 billion yen ($585.3 million). Shipments of international products were down 5% to 17.8 million units, for a wholesale value down 12% to 22.8 billion yen ($212.4 million).

In addition, shipments of music-related videos and DVDs in the January-March quarter fell 1% to 8.4 million units, for a wholesale value down 22% to 11.4 billion yen ($106.3 million).