MMW-117 -- Japan's Music Media Publishers

J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
Commentary on Japan's music technology news

Issue No. 117
Thursday, January 17 2008

26/27 January 2008 - Cannes - France - at MIDEM, the world's
music market.

MidemNet Forum brings you an invaluable update on how digital is
driving the music business forward, changing it rapidly and

Over 2 days of intense conference sessions and serious
networking opportunities, you will debate and engage with more
than 1,300 key international executives and play an active role
in shaping the future of the industry.

Speaking at MidemNet 2008: Bob Ezrin, Producer & Chairman, Live
Nation Recordings - Prof. Lawrence Lessig, CEO, Creative
Commons - Jim O'Mahony, CEO EMEA, Asia, Australasia & Latin
America, Saatchi & Saatchi - Janus Friis, Co-Founder, Joost,
Kazaa and Skype - Jean-Bernard L?vy, CEO, Vivendi -
Tero Ojanpera, EVP & CTO, Nokia.

The earlier you register, the less you pay. Hurry, seats are



++ FEATURE: Music Publishing in Japan


** RIAJ announces results of latest mobile piracy survey
** 'Hatsune Miku' boom continues
** Rittor releases new version of online guitar learning
** Yahoo Japan adds DoCoMo, KDDI to mobile music search
** New version of BeatJam from Just System

++ FEATURE: Music Publishing in Japan

Japan's music publishers - the companies who create and
distribute music books, magazines, and other music-related
media - are an impressively busy lot. Whether it's a magazine
devoted to jazz guitar or a how-to book about learning chromatic
harmonica, the Japanese have assembled one of the world's
largest and most diverse selection of music learning resources.
There is also a certain depth - a clarity of explanation and
attention to detail - in most of these publications that I have
yet to find anywhere else.

The Japanese music publishing industry - also known as the
'music media' industry here - is largely driven by four
companies, who between them account for an estimated total of
US$150 million in sales each year. Like many other content
providers, these companies are all starting to make the
transition to digital, and each of them have so far taken
slightly different approaches to the rapidly changing technology
that is reshaping their market. Here is a brief overview of
these four major players, and a description of their recent
digital/mobile initiatives:

1. Yamaha Music Media (YMM)

This company is the publishing arm of Yamaha Corporation, and
many of their past publications have been designed primarily to
promote the sales of Yamaha instruments - especially keyboards
and guitars. Last year, however, the digital content division of
Yamaha Corporation was merged with YMM, with the head of that
division taking over as president and several of his managers
assigned to director-level positions.

This realignment brings all of Yamaha's highly lucrative mobile
content businesses under the YMM umbrella. In particular, the
ringtone component of this business - which Yamaha helped to
pioneer - still accounts for massive revenues, possibly as much
as three or four times what YMM had been earning previously.
Although ringtone revenue will continue to decrease, it
nonetheless provides the company with a substantial amount of
cash as it works out the plan for its future direction.

2. Rittor Music

Rittor is Japan's most prolific publisher of magazines and
instructional mini-books (known as 'mooks' in Japan) for
practicing musicians. The company publishes 11 different music-
and instrument-related magazines, including Guitar Magazine,
which boasts a circulation of over 250,000. Rittor was the first
publisher to start selling its products through a mobile site,
and the company now creates separate mobile content for several
of its magazines. Rittor Music is a subsidiary of Impress
Holdings, which is one of Japan's major publishers of content
for the IT industry.

3. Shinko Music Entertainment Co.

Founded in 1932 and still privately held, Shinko Music is one
of Japan's oldest independent music publishers. Like Rittor,
Shinko also publishes a wide array of music-related magazines,
including the popular Young Guitar Magazine, which
differentiates itself by focusing on hard rock and metal genres
that appeal more to younger guitarists. Shinko also imports and
distributes more music books from the west than any other
Japanese publisher, and has brought much of the Hal Leonard
catalog to Japan. Shinko has not been as quick as the other
publishers to tap into the mobile sector, but the company did
partner with Vibe on GuitarHeadz - Japan's first mobile site for

4. Doremi Music Publishing Co.

Doremi is celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year, and like
Shinko, is independent and privately held. The company has built
a huge catalog of over 2,000 titles, including instructional
books for nearly every instrument and genre. The company
publishes only one magazine, a monthly publication called 'songs
for guitarists.' Last year, Doremi launched its own mobile site
in Japan and now offers much of its catalog through this site.

Over the next few years, it will be interesting to watch the
effect of changing technology on Japan's music publishing
industry. Seen by many in the industry as highly conservative
and traditional, none of these companies have been particularly
quick to embrace new digital formats that might threaten their
current print business. Recently, though, Rittor and Doremi have
begun to include some instructional Flash content for guitarists
on their web sites.

In the past year, digital sheet music has begun to gain
recognition in Japan, and companies such as FreeHand Systems
(which makes the MusicPad sheet music reader) are also starting
to sell their products here. In addition, more Japanese are
becoming aware of the vast amount of instructional video content
that can be found on YouTube and through new services such as
the Multiplayer from These challenges will
have to be addressed by the larger music media companies if they
hope to maintain their current level of business. As an
executive from one of these companies puts it, 'we can keep
going as we are for a little while, but there are some big
changes on the way.'


** RIAJ announces results of latest mobile piracy survey
In brief: The RIAJ has released a report detailing its findings
from a survey on mobile piracy conducted last November.
According to the report, of the 1,054 people surveyed, 37.1%
said they use illegal sites for mobile music downloads, and
14% said they also upload files to the sites. The RIAJ estimates
that more than 399 million mobile tracks were illegally
downloaded in Japan last year.

** 'Hatsune Miku' boom continues
In brief: Hatsune Miku - the best known of the 'virtual singer'
characters which began appearing as software packages last year
- continues to ride a wave of popularity. DTM magazine devoted
an entire issue to the character, while popular online game
'Tsuri Paradise' has started a 'Hatsune Miku' campaign until
Jan. 25 in which the character sings the background music
appearing in the game. Hatsune Miku uses Yamaha's Vocaloid 2
technology, which produces a synthesized vocal rendering of
lyrics and melody, allowing songwriters to hear their
compositions 'sung' through the software.

** Rittor releases new version of online guitar learning
In brief: Rittor Music announced the release of version 0.9.6 of
its new 'Shibanzu-kun' online guitar learning application, which
utilizes an animated fretboard for learning chords and chord
progressions. The new version includes features for automatic
playback, preset chord charts, and tablature display.

** Yahoo Japan adds DoCoMo, KDDI to mobile music search
In brief: Yahoo Japan has added a function to its Japanese
portal allowing users to search directly for chaku-uta and
chaku-uta full songs that are available on NTT DoCoMo and
KDDI/au, in addition to the existing search feature for
Softbank Mobile.

** New version of BeatJam from Just System
In brief: Just System announced the release of BeatJam 2008, the
company's software package for digital audio editing and
conversion. The new release includes features that integrate the
application with JustSystem's 'Music@Life' site.

Written by: Steve Myers (
Steve Myers is president and chief enthusiast of Theta Music
Technologies, which specializes in the development of
music-related software applications.

To advertise in this newsletter, contact:
We welcome your viewpoint:
(NB Please do not reply to this newsletter --
it's outgoing only, so we won't get it!)
(C) Copyright 2008 Japan Inc Communications KK.
All Rights Reserved.
------------------- Financial Times------------------------

Established in 1888 and published in 23 major cities, the
Financial Times is essential reading for the global business
community, providing news in print and online around the
clock to more than 1.3 million readers worldwide.

In both its print and online versions, the FT has a reputation
for authority, balance and depth of coverage.
With 400 specialist journalists in 70 offices around the
world, and unrivalled access to global business and government
leaders, the FT 's global business intelligence and insight
will help you start the day fully briefed on significant
events in business, politics and finance.

FT newspaper and (one year subscription - 310 issues)

Normal retail price:
You pay:
JPY90,720 ( Saving you 54%.)

If you would like to subscribe please call our dedicated
customer service team on 0120-341-468 or

------Metropolis Magazine Valentine`s Glitterball-------

Glitterball is back!
Tokyo's favorite party makes its triumphant return on
February 14, 2008-Valentine's Day.
An institution for nearly a decade, the Metropolis-hosted
Glitterball was on hiatus this year due to the closing of
Velfarre nightclub, but 2008's version promises to be better
than ever.

Roppongi hotspot Alife will host over 1,000 V-Day revelers
for a night of eating, drinking, dancing, making friends-and
who knows what else.
Prize drawings, swag bags, and Tokyo's funnest crowd will make
the reborn Glitterball the highlight of the Tokyo social


------------ NEW OFFICE SETUP OR RELOCATION ---------------


Don't buy a PBX!
PBXL is a hosted Cisco end-to-end solution that every office
needs for its core business phone infrastructure.

For Terrie's Take readers, PBXL is offering a new office
set-up campaign of up to 10 people for only 98,000 yen,
up to 20 people for only 198,000 yen, for a discount of up
to 270,000 yen!

For complete details on this bundle, click the link below,
or call us at:

Come see PBXL in action at Cisco Japan HQ:
(registration is open for our next event on Thurs Jan 24)

--------- PBXL Hosted Business Communications -------------


where can I get my songs published in japan it's alt rock music (updated 70-80's type of music)