Online music subscription streaming sales revenue in Japan 2017-2019

The subscription-based streaming sales revenue of online music in Japan reached a value of approximately 40.4 billion Japanese yen in 2019. The fourth quarter turned out to be the most successful during the year in terms of quarterly sales revenue.

Japan slow to embrace streaming

Japan has been comparably slow to embrace online music streaming and is now in a process of catching up to other markets. The Japanese music industry has for many years relied heavily on CD sales, which due to a high demand and high margins were considered to be more profitable than streaming. CDs in Japan are often sold with added value for collectors and fans, coming in various editions or containing special tickets that enable buyers to directly meet their favorite artists or to support them in popularity contests. Another reason for the slow start of music streaming can be found in the fragmented nature of the Japanese music industry, which necessitates numerous negotiations with different record labels. This resulted in many consumers being dissatisfied with music services due to a lack of favorite artists and songs. As a consequence, the Japanese music streaming market saw different services come and go. One such example is Groovy, a music streaming app made by Japanese gaming company DeNA, which ended its operations in March 2014 after only one year.

Impact of new market entries

The emerging Japanese music streaming market quickly gained steam around 2015, when several big players entered the competition all at once. Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Prime Music, LINE Music, and AWA, a joint venture between CyberAgent and Avex Group Holdings, all started their operations in 2015. Spotify followed in 2016 after prolonged negotiations with Japanese record labels. Consequently, subscription-based music streams increased in importance and size, accounting for over half of digital music sales in Japan in 2018, which reached a value of approximately 64.5 billion Japanese yen during that year.

Subscription-based streaming sales revenue of online music in Japan from 2017 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

2017 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Figures do not include revenues for subscription streaming music videos as well as advertisements related to streaming music and streaming music videos.

1 Japanese yen equals 0.0093 U.S. dollars or 0.0084 euros as of March 2020.
Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Streaming in Japan"

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