Japan's music market down in first quarter


TOKYO -- The Japanese recorded music market turned in a poor performance in the first quarter, with foreign repertoire's market share showing an especially steep decline, according to shipments data released Friday by local labels body the Recording Industry Association of Japan.

Shipments by the RIAJ's 45 member companies in the first three months of 2008 totaled 59.6 million units, down 14% from the corresponding period of 2007, for a wholesale value of 74.6 billion yen ($730.7 million), down 12%.

Domestic product was down 12% to 46.3 million units, for a value of 60 billion yen ($587.3 million), down 10%. Foreign-product shipments fell 19% to 13.3 million units, dropping 20% in value terms to 14.6 billion yen ($143.5 million).

Shipments of music videos and DVDs, meanwhile, fell 1% in unit terms to 15.8 million units in the first quarter, for a value of 21.2 billion yen ($208 million), up 43%.

Overall shipments of music software (comprising CDs, tapes, LPs and music DVDs and videos) in the first quarter totaled 75.3 million units, down 12%, for a wholesale value of 95.8 billion yen ($938.7 million), down 4%.