Japan might be one of the most tech-centric countries in the world, but music executives are perplexed as digital music sales continue to slide. The online music market reached close to $1 billion in 2009, but has dropped down to $400 million in 2013, according to statistics from the Recording Industry Association of Japan. In fact, 85 percent of music sales in Japan were on CDs and not digital music, which must frustrate music executives.
It's unknown why Japanese music listeners prefer CDs over digital music, but some industry analysts believe it could be related to the country's "protectionist business climate." Also, online music services Spotify and Rdio don't have a presence in Japan, but could help turn the tide once they make it to Japan.
When the decision makers finally feel that the heat is intense enough that they have to do something different, they will," said Ken Parks, Spotify chief content officer. "I think we are approaching that moment in Japan."