Chapter2:The Maturation of the “AKB48 Business Law” and the progressing erosion of the Oricon Ranking

For a long time, the Oricon Rankings have been responsible for indicating hit songs in Japan. They are comparable to America’s billboard, and merely represent the sales of CDs, but not the actual popularity of a song.

As can be seen in table-3, also in 2011, the remarkable oligopoly in the CD Single market is still advancing. In the 2011 Oricon Single Ranking AKB48[1] monopolized rank 1 to rank 5 and since 2010 further advances the “One Person Win”. The so called “General Election” which is a fan voting event that determines the ranking within the group, has promptly been reported by breaking news sites and became a social phenomenon.

Sales promotion is conducted by creating a system where the user supports the favorite member by purchasing CDs to obtain ballot papers that are also tickets to a handshaking event (Akushukai) [2]. Even though this is an example for successful package sales, there are also concerns about this being too excessive.

The purchase of a large amount of CDs by an individual for purposes other than listening to them is not an ideal situation for the music industry, and therefore more sophisticated business models are awaited.

In addition, the “Oricon Charts”, as pointed out in the 2011 White Paper, veer away from being an indicator for user-song support, and are continuously eroding since no improvement could be seen in 2011 either.

Youtube, NicoNico Video and other video sharing sites are having an influence, and with regard to these speeding up music streaming services (discussed later) new indicators for hit music are needed.

【table-3:Oricon Single CD ranking in 2011】


〜from “WHITE PAPER of DIGITAL CONTENTS in JAPAN” (supervised by METI)
 (translation:Benjamin Tag)


[1] Idol Group based on a concept called “You can meet your Idol”, started in 2005.

[2] Event where Fans can actually meet their Idols in person.


About yamabug

Music Producer consultant of contents business C.E.O. of BUG corporation director of Federation Music Producers Japan. in details ☞ Twitter ☞
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One Response to Chapter2:The Maturation of the “AKB48 Business Law” and the progressing erosion of the Oricon Ranking

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