CD output logs first rise in 14 years

Kyodo

Music labels churned out 196.62 million CDs between January and November in Japan, surpassing the 196.56 million they produced in the whole of last year, according to data published Thursday by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.

The association said four albums so far have sold 1 million copies or more, the same number as last year, all by homegrown artists: two greatest hits albums by Mr. Children, “1830m” by AKB48, and a singles compilation album by Kobukuro.

There was an increase in the number of works that sold at least 100,000 copies this year, including those by well-established artists such as Yumi Matsutoya, Tatsuro Yamashita and Keisuke Kuwata that each sold over 500,000 copies, it said.

“The strong result may be attributed to an increase in purchases by people in a higher age group and the diversification of hit songs,” an official with the association analyzed.

The total production value of CDs in the same period came to ¥203.8 billion, a figure certain to top the previous year’s sum of ¥208.5 billion, with the addition of December’s total, the industry group said.

CD production drastically declined since peaking in 1998 when labels made about 457.17 million copies worth about ¥587.9 billion in value, due in part to a greater availability of the Internet as well as portable music players and a rise in illegal copies.