Tag Archives: Japan

Indie label ships all acts as iPhone Apps

So they say the music industry is changing, and Apple and the labels are all engaged in attempting to reinvent the album format for the smartphone age – well, nimble Japanese indie label, REall its artists exclusively as iPhone applications…

Several of the label’s musical apps are already available from the iTunes Store. Music Ally informs us these take the shape of a virtual vinyl turntable, with a record that can be played, or scratched.

The label incidentally describes itself as both the “smallest record label in the world” and also as “A Japanese independent+ record label +ha+ jus+ exis+s in iPhone/iPod touch.”

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Apple’s Japanese puzzle as iPhone sales slow

Japan remains a challenging market for Apple’s media products and services, with news that migrating consumers there from ringtones to a la carte downloads of music has been challenging now matched by reports claiming disappointing iPhone sales in the country.

Market research firm MM Research Institute claims Apple sold about 200, 000 phones in Japan in the first two months since launch, but observes the rate of sale has declined “analysts now widely believe sales are unlikely to reach a total of 500,000 units, half the one million units that they previously thought Apple could sell.”

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Apple iTunes faces battle in Japan

Nokia’s ‘Comes With Music’ may already have generated its first fan-site, but questions remain on the future for mobile music services – surely the usability factor doesn’t yet match desktop alternatives, such as iTunes?

Apple does offer the iTunes Store for WiFi, and has before been rumoured to hold plans for its very own mobile music service, though this may prove less successful if aimed at iPhone users alone. As an incremental addition, iTunes for WiFi offers something like a mobile experience.

That no one beyond Nokia appears yet to be aiming to offer a full package (hot potato) mobile music service, incumbents must surely be mulling the latest figures to come out of Japan.

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Social networking’s sexier than Blu-ray

The price of Blu-ray players and discs seems set to fall this season, as those involved seek to take the format into the mass market – meanwhile that market’s changing, with consumers flocking to sign-up to location-based social networking services for their mobile phones, a pair of ABI Research reports claim.

“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realize that for Blu-ray to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.
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13.6 million Japanese use iTunes, says comScore

Statistics are nice, and while in use they make liars of us all as one thing isn’t always another, today’s new claim is that nearly 25 per cent of Japanese Internet users accessed iTunes in August, at least that’s if comScore World Metrix are to be believed – but Yahoo! Music is Japan’s most visited music site.

Seems nearly 40 per cent of the Japanese online population visited an entertainment music site in August.

The study also revealed that Japan recorded the highest penetration of users of Apple iTunes software during the month, when compared with the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

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Mobile set for content explosion

Mobile services in Europe will be mulling over this morning’s news from Japan, where the Japanese market for mobile music purchases jumped 42 per cent last year, reaching a value of ¥1.1 trillion, by far the biggest growth story of an otherwise explosive year for the mobile business sector.
Gadget-familiar Japanese conduct ever more of their business through their mobile, taking full advantage of the advanced mobile infrastructure in the country. Continue reading

Universal touts new master-tone record

Universal reckons it has chalked-up a new digital music record in Japan, where R&B artist Thelma Aoyama’s second single Sobaniirune (I’ll Be With You) has sold over 7 million downloads in Japan, including 2 million full-track mobile downloads.
In a rare glimpse at the download payload, Universal reveals the track’s seen 3.4 million master-tone, 2 million full-track mobile download, and 1.6 million ring-back tone sales.
The song has also been certified by leading Japanese music chart provider, Oricon, as the country’s most popular physical CD single of the year, selling more than 550,000 copies to date.
The single was released by Universal Music Japan in two stages.  It debuted digitally as a master-tone last December, but its popularity exploded when released as a full-track download (and physical CD single) early in 2008.  A major factor was the track’s inclusion in a TV commercial by Japan’s telco giant, NTT DoCoMo.
Last year, Aiuta (Love Song) by Universal Music Japan act GreeeeN became the first full-track mobile download anywhere to sell a million copies.
With family roots in Japan and Trinidad & Tobago, Thelma Aoyama became interested in music at the age of three, influenced by a videoclip of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation, and she started to sing in a gospel choir at age ten.  Her 2007 single, One Way, was her debut recording for Universal Music Japan.