The number of downloads from legal music and video services in Japan has fallen for the first time, according to the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).
A total of 111.6 million downloads were made during the second quarter of this year, down from 114.3 million in the first quarter of the year, the RIAJ said. The figures are derived from data supplied to the RIAJ by its 42 member companies.
The drop is the first change in fortunes for the market, which has been growing steadily quarter-on-quarter since the RIAJ began supplying figures in 2005. In the latest quarter downloads from both internet sites like the iTunes Store and Yahoo Music and from mobile phone-based ringtone sites fell.
On the internet a total of 6.3 million single tracks were downloaded during the period, down from 6.9 million in the first quarter of the year.
The number of albums downloaded during the period rose to 342,000 in the quarter from 333,000 in the prior quarter, but that wasn't enough to offset the drop in single track downloads. As a result the total number of internet audio downloads fell 9 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 6.6 million, said the RIAJ.
On the mobile internet, downloads of ringtones fell by 10 per cent to 54.7 million to pull the entire mobile phone download sector down.
Despite an increase in ringback tones and a jump in mobile music downloads from 23.3 million tracks to 25.5 million tracks, the entire mobile internet download market shrank 2 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 104.8 million downloads, said the RIAJ.
Downloads may have fallen, however total revenue managed a small increase. In the second quarter the entire online audio and video download market in Japan was worth ¥17.6 billion, up 0.2 per cent on the previous quarter and a record to date.