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Music Apps Hear Sound of Success in Japan

Music app usage jumped to nearly 44% in June 2015

August 25, 2015 | Mobile | Media & Entertainment

Following the introduction of two major new streaming services—AWA Music in May, and Line Music in June—music app penetration among Android-based smartphone users in Japan appears to have jumped, based on app usage data analyzed by Video Research Interactive.

Music App Penetration Among Smartphone Users in Japan, Sep 2014-June 2015 (% of users monitoried by Video Research Interactive)

Music app usage hovered around one-third of the Android smartphone population in the country for most of H1 2015, but it was up to nearly 44% in June. Video Research Interactive reported that the youngest users studied—those ages 10 to 19—had the highest penetration rates in June, at nearly 60% for both males and females. Gender did not have much of an effect on usage rates within any age group.

The gender splits—or lack thereof—were a new development since as recently as May, when women were several percentage points more likely than men to use music apps among the under-30 set.

In June, Line Music was already the No. 2 music app in Japan, and AWA Music was No. 5.

March 2015 research from Asahi Group put music streaming at the bottom of the list of app activities used by smartphone users in Japan, with just 12.8% penetration among smartphone users ages 20 and older. Lifemedia Research Bank reported 27.8% penetration in April 2015, but that was among users ages 10 to 69, suggesting music apps are a relatively young person’s activity in Japan.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Japan had the third-largest digital music revenues in the world last year, at $459 million, after the US and UK. Digital revenues as a share of industry revenues are small in Japan, however, at just 17% last year, vs. 71% in the US.


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