Music industry of East Asia

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The music industry of East Asia, a region that includes China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan, is a rapidly growing economic sector that is home to some of the world's largest music markets.


East Asia

In 2003, South Korea became the world's first music market where digital music sales surpassed those of physical formats.[1][2]

In 2013, Japan surpassed the United States as the world largest recorded music market for the first time, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.[3] However, the U.S. still remains the largest music market if licensing fees are included into the figures.[3]

Contrast with the global music industry[edit]

Although global physical music sales (such as CDs) have been declining in recent years, in East Asia (particularly Japan and South Korea), however, physical music sales have been rising consistenly.[4]

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry credits this phenomenon to "K-Pop fans who want high-quality physical formats and deluxe box sets".[4]

According to a music executive from Universal Music Group, CDs are becoming "the new merchandise in Asia".[5]


The following table lists the total revenues of the music markets of East Asia:

Rank Country Revenue in 2012
(in Million USD)
Growth rate Source
1  Japan 4420 4% [6]
2  South Korea 187.5 -4.3% [7]
3  China (PRC) 92 9% [6]
4  Taiwan 56 1.2% [8]
5  Hong Kong 37 [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marchand, Ruby. "Trade Mission Engages Key Korean Music Professionals". Grammy Award. Retrieved 2013-01-14. "...It's also the first country where digital surpassed physical sales." 
  2. ^ McClure, Steve (2006). Billboard Vol. 118, No. 18. Billboard. p. 23. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  3. ^ a b Kyodo News (9 April 2013). "Japan surpasses US as world's biggest recorded music market". ABS-CBN News Channel. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Francis Keeling, Universal Music’s Global Head of Digital Business: Google Streaming Service ‘Is the Biggest Funnel We Can Have’". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 7 May 2013. "According to IFPI, global physical format sales declined from 61% in 2011 to an estimated 58% in 2012. However, in Japan, CD and DVD sales posted strong increases (sales numbers or percentages were not provided). While in South Korea physical sales are expected to rise for the third consecutive year, with IFPI crediting K-Pop fans who want high-quality physical formats and deluxe box sets, with driving the format's sustained popularity." 
  5. ^ Lindvall, Helienne. "How K-Pop & J-Pop Are Saving Physical Music Sales". Digital Music News. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Smirke, Richard. "IFPI 2013 Recording Industry in Numbers: Global Revenue, Emerging Markets Rise; U.S., U.K., Germany Drop". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 7 May 2013. "The world’s number two market remains Japan, which experienced 4% growth in 2012, with recorded music sales totaling $4.42 billion, up from $4.25 billion in 2011...In total, nine of the world’s top twenty markets posted growth. Of those, Sweden ($176 million, up 18.7%) and India ($146 million, up 22.1%, representing its highest-ever sales level) moved up two places to #12 and #14, respectively. Norway ($118 million, up 6.7%) moved to #18 and China ($92 million, up 9%) re-entered the top twenty at #20, replacing South Africa ($85 million, down 5.8%)." 
  7. ^ "RIAJ Yearbook 2013: IFPI 2011, 2012 Report: 29. Global Sales of Recorded Music (Page 24)". Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  8. ^ a b "RIAJ: Yearbook 2012, IFPI 2010 Report: 31. Global Sales of Recorded Music by Country in 2010 (Page 24)". Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 2012-04-26.