Toshiba-EMI, Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) and several other leading Japanese labels have licensed repertoire for a new download service, Mora, which goes live April 1.
The Mora service will be operated by Label Gate, a Tokyo-based company owned by the major labels that provides system operation, online billing, data storage and distribution services.
The launch marks a renewed attempt by the Japanese record industry to kick-start its legitimate download business, which has lagged behind those in other major territories.
Toshiba-EMI and Sony say they will each make about 25,000 domestic and foreign songs available for download at launch. That figure is expected to rise to 100,000 by fall.
Japanese repertoire will be priced at ¥270 ($2.50) for individual tracks or ¥2,400 ($22) for full albums. Foreign songs will cost ¥240 ($2.20) per track or ¥2,025 ($19) for albums. Most songs will be available for download the same day they are released on CD and will incorporate copy-protection devices.