Oricon published their half-year single, album, music DVD and music Blu-ray Disc sales figures on July 19th. With lots of activity in the singles category and the popularization of Blu-ray Discs, the music industry reported total sales of 156.42 billion yen (approximately $2 billion USD), a slight 1% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. This is the first time in 4 years since 2008 that sales have actually increased. The number of sold copies increased by 4.2%, the first increase in 7 years since 2005.
Sales of singles brought in 32.02 billion yen ($406 million USD), a substantial 20% increase compared to last year’s 25.56 billion yen ($323 million USD). This is the biggest earnings recorded for the first half of a year since Oricon started compiling data for market research in 2004.
In particular, eight singles grossed more than 500 million yen ($63 million USD) including AKB48’s “Manatsu no Sounds good!” and “GIVE ME FIVE”, Arashi’s “Wild at Heart”,”Face Down”,”Your Eyes“, SKE48’s “Kataomoi Finally“,”Aishiteraburu!“, NMB48’s “Nagiichi“. Sales from AKB48 related groups represented a quarter of the total market share.
Albums sales is still the main pillar of the recording industry and brought in 85.16 billion yen, ($1 billion USD) a decrease of 5.9% compared to the same period last year. Even though this decrease continues the pattern of falling albums sales, the decline was smaller this year. This may be a sign of the album sales plateauing out.
Earnings from the DVD and Blu-ray Disc category together increased by 4%, reaching 39.25 billion yen ($497 million USD). Proceeds from Blu-ray Disc sales nearly doubled, indicating a fast shift towards this high definition medium. There were 11 Blu-ray Disc productions that grossed more than 100 million yen, an increase from just 4 last year. Meanwhile, DVDs recorded a slight 3% decrease in sales of about 33.9 billion yen ($430 million USD).