Apple iPod & iTunes Music Store both number one in Japan; iPod market share nears 60-percent

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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Analyst: Sony BMG’s boycott of Apple’s iTunes Music Store Australia won’t last long – October 24, 2005
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Japan music labels look to impose ‘iPod Tax’ while Sony, Warner still not signing with Apple iTunes – October 10, 2005
Why aren’t Sony, BMG, Warner, Victor making their artists’ music available on Apple’s iTunes Japan? – October 06, 2005
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  1. This is amazing for the tuffest market in Asia. Anyon ecatch the numbers on iTMS market share? What are the other competitors offering? Are Napster/Yahoo!/etc. there? The only one I know of is SonyConnect.

    MDN word: although

  2. Cloudwall asks: “And where is Sony in all of this?”

    Caught in the headlights of the oncoming iPod Juggernaut.

    They won’t be able to move until it’s too late.

    Oh yeah, btw, it’s almost too late.

    MaWo: ‘few’. As in: “At this point in the game, there are few mp3-player manufacturers that could compete with the market-leading Apple and their market-dominating iPod. Unfortunately, due to Sony’s currently sorry state, they aren’t one of them.”

  3. I hope all the Sony/BMG artists are not letting the execs get any sleep over this ridiculous state of affairs. I would love to hear their “reasoning” when they try to explain why they cannot be part of the fastest growing market segment.

  4. This just proves the point that it takes the whole Trifecta – player, software, online store – to make the magic work. Until Apple came out with the ITMS Japan they were not doing nearly as well.

    Until some rival comes up with a trifecta that works as seamlessly as Apple’s solution, no one will even come close to being real competition.

  5. totally agree Synthmeister, I would be asking some serious questions of the executives at Sony directly. They firstly keep most of the profits and then they altogether deprive their artists from being a part of the biggest thing to hit the music industry since well, some african dude built the first bongo, and went medievel on its ass.

  6. I wonder how big the “holiday season” will be in Japan. Christmas isn’t quite the same thing over there. It’s more of a lover’s holiday than a family holiday. I guess it’s the right time to get your sweetie that iPod she’s had her eye on.

    The most curious Christmas tradition in Japan has to do with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s the traditional Christmas meat. No, I’m not joking. They call it “Christmas chicken” and families actually reserve buckets in advance so they don’t have to wait in line on Christmas.

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