• Kyodo


The volume and value of CDs that Japanese music labels issued in 2012 rose from the previous year for the first time in 14 years, thanks to the popularity of the all-female pop group AKB48 and strong sales of greatest-hits albums, an industry association said.

The number of CDs produced rose 9 percent from 2011 to about 215.17 million copies, with their combined value rising 8 percent to ¥224.6 billion, the Recording Industry Association of Japan said Thursday.

CD production had been falling since peaking in 1998, when about 457.17 million copies worth ¥587.9 billion were manufactured.

The association said that output of analog discs and other types of music software has also been growing recently.

It attributed these rises to a pickup in purchases by people in their 40s and older, noting that albums by veteran musicians sold well in 2012, in addition to those of young idol groups.

“Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the launch of CDs. It is very welcoming that production rose for the first time in 14 years,” said Kotaro Taguchi, senior managing director of the association.