Will it be the “carrot and stick” or just “the stick” that revives flagging digital-music sales in Japan?

As in other major music markets, digital sales here — via PCs or mobile phones — have helped offset the slide in sales of physical product such as CDs. In 2011, sales of physical product (excluding music videos) in Japan amounted to ¥212 billion, down 6 percent from 2010, according to local labels body the Recording Industry of Japan (RIAJ). Digital sales totaled ¥72 billion, down 16 percent.

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