Apple today announced that iTunes and iPod are leading the digital music revolution in Japan with iPod market share almost 60 percent according to Business Computer News (BCN). Since the launch of the iTunes Music Store this summer and introduction of the iPod nano and fifth generation iPod, market share in Japan has grown rapidly, solidifying iPod’s position as the number one digital music player in Japan by a wide margin. iTunes is the number one online music service in Japan and its library has grown steadily with the addition of dozens of independent labels.
“It has been a tremendous year for Apple and music in Japan with the opening of the iTunes Music Store and the introduction of the impossibly small iPod nano and fifth generation iPod,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in the press release. “We’re delighted that Japanese music fans love the unrivaled combination of the world’s most popular online music store and the world’s best digital music players.”
“Consistently maintaining a market share surpassing 50 percent since September, Apple has grown to be the only winner in the portable audio market in Japan,” said Ichiro Michikoshi, editor-in-chief of WebBCN Ranking in the press release. “All eyes are on Apple to see how far it will grow its numbers in the holiday season.”
The iTunes Music Store in Japan features more than one million songs, 1,000 music videos, short films from Academy-Award winning Pixar Animation Studios, 11,000 audiobooks and 25,000 Podcasts. Since launching in August, dozens of labels including For Life Music, Geneon Entertainment and Dreamusic have added their catalogs to the iTunes Music Store. Newly added iTunes exclusives include tracks from Kazufumi Miyazawa, Zazen Boys, Motoharu Sano and m-flo, as well as international artists such as Stevie Wonder, U2, Coldplay and Björk. Exclusive music videos from Beastie Boys and U2 are also available for purchase and download for viewing on customers’ PCs or fifth generation iPods.
The iPod economy is flourishing with over 1,000 accessories made specifically for iPod, ranging from fashionable cases to speaker systems. One-third of the automobiles sold in Japan in 2006 will offer iPod integration with their car stereos, including Nissan, Mazda, Daihatsu, Smart, Suzuki, Alfa Romeo, BMW, MINI and Peugeot. In addition, an array of after-market solutions are available from Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood and Pioneer for automobiles that currently do not offer iPod integration.
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