The Music Market in Japan
- Japan is the 2nd largest music market in the world after the USA in terms of sales. (US$3 billion annually)
- The population of just the Tokyo Metropolitan Area is 38 million. (Total Population of Japan: 127 million)
- Japanese spend more money on music and music-related products per person than anyone else in the world.
- Streams make up more than 75% of all digital music sales in Japan.
- The most popular digital music platforms in Japan are Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, AWA, Line Music, kkbox
- About 30% of all CD's sold in Japan were from foreign artists.
- Olivia Rodrigo (USA), Easy Life (UK) and Finneas (USA) received the 2022 "Best New International Artist" Japan Gold Disc Award for highest sales in Japan.
- There are fans in Japan for all styles of music in any language—from Hawaiian, Country, Bossa Nova, Folk, New Age, Jazz, and Bluegrass to Metal, Punk, Alt Rock, Hip Hop, R&B, EDM, Reggae, and everything in between. See what foreign music is popular right now in Japan on Apple Music and Spotify.
* Data provided by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) and International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)
Every year, Japanese spend over a billion YEN on music from foreign countries. If you are in the business of making and selling music, then Japan is your main market and should not be ignored.
The goal of this website is to provide resources to help indie bands/artists, managers and record labels sell and promote music in Japan. Please read the various sections and articles in this website to gain insight into doing business effectively in the Japanese music market.
Many bands/artists and record labels from all over the world rely on Japan as a source of fans and revenue.
Below are some Japanese music platforms for bands/artists and record labels to promote their music in Japan. You can register an artist/band in all of the platforms below at one time by registering at Top Music Japan (TopMusic.jp).
See the indie artists/bands from your country that are actively promoting their music in Japan.
See the indie artists/bands from your country that are performing live in Japan.
Learn about performing live in Japan and how to set up your Japan Tour.
How do I market my music in Japan?
Marketing your music in Japan is no different from marketing your music in any country.
A lot of indie artists are not business people so they rely on a record label or management company to handle the business and marketing side. However, there are also many indie artists who manage to do everything themselves be it by choice or neccessity.
First, you should have a clearly defined product to market. Your product means not only your music but also your brand (i.e. consumer image).
Your music should be recorded in the best quality you can achieve. And for every release you should have good artwork (album cover), a properly written description/bio, and accompanying video (such as a YouTube music or lyric video). You can affordably make a music video onlne at ROTOR, ANIMOTO, Filmora, Animaker, Videobolt, etc.).
For marketing your music/brand you require accompanying images, photos, videos, logos, websites, and other print and digital content which should be carefully planned, designed and produced. If you are not good at this, there are many freelancers available to do this for you (i.e. Fiverr, etc.) as well as AI programs that can help you. If you are targeting the Japanese market, then you will require a Japanese website.
Your music should be available where your target market can readily access it such as from your Japanese website and the popular digital music platforms in Japan. Nowadays, it is easy and affordable to get your music on digital streaming/download platforms in Japan using one of the many digital music distributors.
When you have a Japanese website and your music available on popular music platforms in Japan then you are ready to promote your music in Japan.
The goal of promotion is to get Japanese consumers to stream/download/license your music and buy your merch—thus creating revenues for you and hopefully offsetting the cost of marketing and leaving you with some profit. Even if your end goal is not to make any money and just to spread your music in Japan, then you still require a Japanese website and distribution in Japan (both or which can be had for free).
Promoting your music is the same in Japan as in any country. This includes things such as performing live shows in Japan, and advertising and publicity in Japanese digital/print media. This involves time and money. Fortunately, there are some affordable services available for indie artists to market their music in Japan.