MMW-78 -- Another Record Year For JASRAC and Mobile Music

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

Issue No. 78
Wednesday, May 25, 2005



++ FEATURE: Another Record Year For JASRAC and Mobile Music

** New DA PUMP Song Offered as Chaku-uta Ahead of Movie Release
** Infoseek Conducts 'Music Phone' Survey
** Excite Starts New Mobile Karaoke Service
** Yamaha Announces New Amplifier for Home Entertainment Systems
** New Flat Panel Speaker System from TDK

================ ICA Event ================

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2005 ・7:00pm start
The ICA & Digital Eve will hold a casual networking party
at the ultra-cool Cozmo Cafe in Shibuya. JPY 4,000 includes
2.5 hours of open bar and various finger foods.

RSVP required - Complete details at
======= AMT Group's Exclusive Seminar ======

"Leadership Awareness Seminar" (in Japanese) at AMT Group's
Development Den in Yotsuya. 10:00 - 15:00, June 16 & 17
In a small group (maximum 6 participants):
* Learn and apply new leadership & coaching tools
* Access 100+ ways to motivate yourself and others
* Practice presenting before a group of peers and professional
Total investment: JPY97,000.
E-mail for details and to register.
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++ FEATURE: Another Record Year For JASRAC and Mobile Music

For the second year in a row, JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights
of Authors, Composers and Publishers) reported a record amount of
royalty fees collected.

At a press conference in Tokyo last week, JASRAC officials presented
a summary of the fees collected for fiscal 2004 (April 2004 - March 2005).
The total amount of income came to JPY 110.8 billion (US$1.03 billion),
slightly more than the previous record of JPY 109.4 billion (US$1.01 billion)
set for fiscal 2003.

While royalties from CD sales decreased, fees from other categories are
taking up the slack, in particular ringtones and chaku-uta (master ringtones).

Here are some of the facts and figures announced by JASRAC for mobile
and online categories:

1. Interactive Distribution (including all online services, ringtones,
chaku-uta, etc)
Collected a total of JPY 9.27 billion (US$85.8 million),
up 12.7% from last year.

2. Polyphonic Ringtones
Collected JPY 7.88 billion (US$73 million), up 3.9% from last year

3. Master Ringtones (chaku-uta and chaku-uta full)
Collected JPY 0.81 billion (US$7.5 million), nearly quintuple(!)
the amount from last year.

4. Other Online Services (including fixed-line services for PCs)
Collected JPY 0.59 billion (US$5.5 million), up 27.5%
over last year.

5. Royalties from CD sales
Collected JPY 26.8 billion (US$248 million), down 5.3%.
Fifth straight year of decline.

From the information given above, it is clear that online music services
(both mobile and fixed-line) had banner years in fiscal 2004. In particular,
the growth of chaku-uta dwarfed that of all other categories and shows
no sign of slowing down anytime soon. For all the media attention given
to chaku-uta, however, the big money-maker in Japanese mobile music
over the past year was still polyphonic ringtones, which singlehandedly
accounted for 85% of fees from the entire 'Interactive Distribution'

Despite this second straight year of record royalties, JASRAC Managing
Director Mamoru Kato expressed caution at the press conference, saying
that the Japanese music industry is currently in a transitional phase, and
must find ways to manage the new methods of online distribution. In
particular, the anticipated launch of iTunes in Japan has become a hot
topic of discussion recently, with JASRAC Executive Director Mitsuo
Sugawara quoted as saying that JASRAC "expects Apple to play by
Japanese rules."

Detailed breakdown of JASRAC royalties for fiscal 2004 by category
(Japanese only):
====== Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo ====
2 Year Anniversary Panel Discussion

"Raising Capital For Your Business"

The panelists will include Hitoshi Suga, Vice Chairman and
Board Member - Tully's Coffee Japan/FoodX Globe Co. LTD. and
Mike Alfant, President of Building 2. Our moderator will be
Michael Korver, Daiwa Securities Group Chaired Visiting
Associate Professor International Business Strategy for the
MBA program at Hitotsubashi University.

Date/Time: Tuesday, June 7th 7:00 pm
Location: City Club of Tokyo - Maple Room
(Canadian Embassy Complex)
Language: English


** New DA PUMP Song Offered as Chaku-uta Ahead of Movie Release
In brief: Popular Japanese group DA PUMP has decided to make its new
song 'Like This" available exclusively through Usen's chaku-uta service
on i-mode and EZWeb. The song will be the theme for a new movie due
out in Japan in mid-June. There has been much speculation recently that
chaku-uta will become the intro media for many new releases by big
name Japanese artists in 2005.

** Infoseek Conducts 'Music Phone' Survey
In brief: Infoseek, in conjunction with Mitsubishi Soken Research, recently
conducted a survey of people who listen to music on their mobile phones.
The survey found that 42% of the respondents obtain music for their phones
by ripping CDs then transferring the files from their PC to the phone using
an SD card, while 29% said they obtain their mobile music exclusively
through KDDI's chaku-uta full service. The survey also found that of the people
who mainly transfer music from their PCs, nearly half reported they were
spending less money on buying CDs, but more on renting CDs through
Japan's many CD rental chain stores.

** Excite Starts New Mobile Karaoke Service
In brief: On June 6, Excite will launch a new service on DoCoMo's i-mode
menu portal for improving karaoke singing. The service, called 'Douga Karaoke
Gakuen', will start with over 1,000 popular songs which include video and
vocal parts the help the user better learn the song. Excite says it will also
launch on KDDI's EZWeb menu portal near the end of July.

** Yamaha Announces New Amplifier for Home Entertainment Systems
In brief: Yamaha Corp. announced last week that in late June it would
begin selling a new high-end amplifier for home entertainment systems.
The DSP-AX4600 features HDMI and iLINK support and three of Yamaha's
32-bit digital audio processing chips. The DSP-AX4600 will retail for
JPY 220,000 (US$2,037).

** New Flat Panel Speaker System from TDK
In brief: TDK Corp. announced that it plans to release a new speaker system
on July 1. The SP-XA60 consists of a subwoofer with a 2.1ch amp and two
flat-panel satellite speakers. The system features 360-degree sound
projection and is expected to retail at around JPY 9,500 (US$88.00).

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Subscribers: 4,017 as of May 24, 2005

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.

Edited by J@pan Inc editor: (


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