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Steve McClure

Steve McClure has lived in Tokyo since 1985. Formerly Billboard magazine’s Asia Bureau Chief, he now publishes the online music-industry newsletter

For Steve McClure's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

'Jazz mecca' Osaka to host star-studded global concert

Music Apr 22, 2014

'Jazz mecca' Osaka to host star-studded global concert

What comes to mind when you think of Osaka? Maybe takoyaki (octopus dumplings), the Hanshin Tigers, Universal Studios Japan, wacky comedy and down-to-earth, unpretentious people. Osaka wants to add jazz to that list. The city has scored a coup by being chosen by UNESCO to ...

Music | MONEY AND MUSIC Dec 3, 2013

Spotify, Rdio and what didn't happen in 2013

This was supposed to be the year that changed the Japanese music business. Back in March I wrote that major international streaming services Spotify and Rdio would likely launch in Japan "sometime in the next few months." That, I confidently predicted, would be a sign ...

Music Nov 5, 2013

Hostess exists rather happily on the edge

With international repertoire's share of the music market down to about 15 percent, it has never been harder to break foreign acts in Japan. And given the shrinking market for non-Japanese music, it seems quixotic to set up a company specializing in bringing foreign ...

Music | MONEY AND MUSIC Oct 15, 2013

Download law yet to bite after a year

It has been a year since Japan introduced penalties for downloading pirated music and video files. So far no one has been arrested — let alone punished with the maximum two years in prison and/or fine of up to ¥2 million that the revision to ...

Music | MONEY AND MUSIC Jun 6, 2013

Been down so long, it looks like up

I've been to a lot of music-industry conferences over the years, and for the past decade I've listened to the same old song: How can the recording industry fight online piracy, which it blames for plunging music sales? So at this year's Music Matters (MM) ...