Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store sells one million songs in first four days

Apple today announced that music fans in Japan have purchased and downloaded more than one million songs from the iTunes Music Store since its launch just four days ago. With over 90 percent of the songs priced at just ¥150 per song, the iTunes Music Store in Japan features a mix of local favorites and popular international artists, with Japanese artists claiming both the number one song (Def Tech) and the number one album (Ulfuls).

“iTunes has become Japan’s number one online music store in just four days,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “iTunes has sold twice as many songs in just four days as all the other online music services in Japan sell in one month.”

The iTunes Music Store in Japan gives music fans the same innovative features, breakthrough pricing, seamless integration with iPod and groundbreaking personal use rights that have made iTunes the number one online music service in the world, with over 500 million songs purchased and downloaded. The iTunes Music Store in Japan features local favorites including iTunes Originals from globe and Ulfuls, exclusives from Def Tech, Crazy Ken Band, Chara, Little Creatures, Chie Ayado and The Complete B’z digital box set. Other iTunes exclusives include music from international artists such as U2, Jack Johnson and Björk, and over 10,000 audiobooks, including works by Japanese authors.

With iTunes 4.9, listeners have everything they need to discover, subscribe, manage and listen to Podcasts built right in. The iTunes Music Store in Japan includes a wide variety of Japanese-language Podcasts, such as InterFM, Radio SOTOKOTO and Radio Nikkei.

iTunes for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download immediately from

Purchase and download of songs from the iTunes Music Store for Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. Music fans in Japan have the option to use iTunes Music Cards for cash purchases on the iTunes Music Store. iTunes Music Cards are available at Sofmap, Yamada, BIC Camera, Amazon Japan, Kojima, Yodobashi Camera as well as through the online Apple Store and Apple’s retail stores.

Related articles:
Apple’s iTunes Music Store takes just four days to become Japan’s undisputed online music leader – August 08, 2005
Apple’s iTunes Music Store offers Japan’s largest library; Napster plans April 2006 launch in Japan – August 04, 2005
Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store debut more bad news for Sony – August 04, 2005
Apple launches iTunes Music Store in Japan – August 03, 2005
iTunes Music Store Japan? Apple to hold ‘special music event’ in Tokyo on August 4 – July 26, 2005
Apple to launch iTunes Music Store in Japan this August – July 15, 2005
Sony grabs Japan flash-based music player lead from Apple ahead of Japanese iTunes Music Store – July 14, 2005
Reports: Apple to launch Japanese iTunes Music Store in ‘near future’ – April 13, 2005


  1. Pretty impressive … if I remember correctly, I think it took 6 days to sell that many songs after the initial launch of ITMS in the US.

    I hope this ‘lights a fire’ under Sony/BMG with respect to getting things settled in Japan and Australia.

  2. Would be nice if some of these hit songs/albums/artists were available to the rest of us. Drives me nuts that songs I want to buy, that were released in Canada, can not be purchased from US or UK stores for example, when those stores are the only one offering the song. I think that the next big thing that ITMS needs to arrange is global availability of the various catalogs of each country’s music that has become part of the store. Then you will see some serious variety in “What’s on your iPod?”

  3. You know, it’s only just today, four days after the fact, that Google News at the portal has even made any front page presentation at all of four day old international press announcements of the iTunes Music Store Japan. This is notable because ALL the other international Google News portals have been presenting the story for the last four days. As of this posting in fact, is merely front paging some stories about the fact that iTunes Japan is ‘offering’ a million songs ‘for sale’. No mention yet of the million in initial sales.

    I’d say somebody’s been bought off. grrrrrrr. Well, the hell with ’em, eh? Congratulations Apple! Well Done!

  4. Derrick

    On the contrary, this probably means that Sony/BMG will work that much harder to stop it from happening in Australia, after all in their mind they may have lost the battle but they intend (no matter how misguided) to win the war.

  5. I can confirm that the last paragraph above is incorrect, and that the iTunes Japan store does not require a “valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase.” I got a prepaid card for 2500 yen at a Bic Camera store, and then I opened an account and bought a song without ever entering a credit card number (although there is an option to enter a credit card number, no number is required). This is probably because credit cards are much less common in Japan then in other countries where the iTunes music store has opened. (Indeed, because credit cards are relatively rare in Japan, most people doing on-line purchases here either pay for them in cash upon delivery, pay for them in cash at a convenience store, or pay for them by wire transfer before shipment.)

    So if you can get your hands on an iTunes Japan pre-paid card, perhaps you can buy from the iTunes Japan store from overseas. (Or perhaps they check IP addresses, who knows . . . .)

  6. That’s it! I, personally, need some new toys, not to mention an new (gulp) Windows laptop. It’s only a few thousand $$$, projection TV, new amp, iPod integration that doesn’t look like it came from Radio Shack, but Sony will not even get consideration, let alone a single dollar, the bastards.

  7. Re: Keith in Tokyo

    I don’t know about Keith in Tokyo’s small circle of friends, but credit cards are popular in Japan and they’re offered everywhere you go. However, Japanese are more weary than most about using credit cards on-line.

    Finally, you don’t need to provide a credit card number at the other iTMS stores either. If you have a gift certificate or prepaid card, you can buy from any iTMS store without giving a credit card. However, you do need to provide an address.

  8. If you have a gift certificate or prepaid card, you can buy from any iTMS store without giving a credit card. However, you do need to provide an address.
    Does the address have to correspond with the country of the iTMS store you’re purchasing from? In other words, can I buy a prepaid card here in the US and use it the Japanese iTMS store but use my US address when it asks for it? I’m guessing I can’t.

  9. > Bet AAPL goes up on Monday based on this news.

    Damn well hope so, I’ve got call options for AAPL with a strike price of 50… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue rolleye” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Which country gets the next iTunes Music Store? Here are the Apple/iTunes web addresses that I was able to find. Notable both for which countries definitely seem to have web addresses already and for which countries seem conspicuous (to me) in their apparent absence:

    Australia: (a sure bet, but the wait is agonizing)
    China: (loads slower than molassas in january)
    Brasil: (It’s on line, let’s hope it gets a store)
    Mexico: (this one redirects to /la/iTunes. Odd)

    Anybody know any others? Besides the 20 countries that already have iTunes Music Stores, I mean?

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