Japan still prefers CDs over online music

While the rest of the world is going robust in its shift from the traditional compact discs to digital or online music, "CD-Loving Japan" looks to resist to go with the flow.

Kimiaki Koinuma buys CDs at Tower Records
Photo: NYTimes.com / Kimiaki Koinuma (Tokyo)
Live streaming and online music downloads are the major shifts these days, but Japan's take is - CD is still king.

Over the weekend, Tower Records store in Tokyo was still packed with customers trying to buy their CD copies of new albums, local and international alike.

Japan's deep attachment to CDs is an odd phenomenon for the music industry. It is even a challenge.

"While CD sales are falling worldwide, including in Japan, they still account for about 85 percent of sales here, compared with as little as 20 percent in some countries, like Sweden, where online streaming is dominant.", wrote Ben Sisario, NyTimes.

"Japan is utterly, totally unique", chairman of the Universal Music Group Lucian Grainge said.

A data shared by the Recording Industry Association of Japan revealed that, the whole digital music sales have been rising in other top market in the world, Japan has the trend declining - barely close to $1 billion in 2009 down to just $400 million last year.

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