Chapter3:The End of the Chaku-Uta and the Limits of Internet Downloads

As expected in the White Paper 2011, the decline of the mobile distribution market for the so called “Chaku-Uta”[1], a ringtone exclusively used on feature phones, is rapidly progressing. (table-4)

In 2011 the showed a decline of more than 20% down to 78% market size compared to the year before; and in 2012 as well, every months’ sales seem to be lower than those of the prior year and each month of the former year.

Starting with ringtones as “Chaku-Melo”[2] (ring-melody) made from famous tunes, the mobile market in Japan experienced a continuous upward trend peaking in between 2008 and 2009 from where it changed into a declining direction.

The cause is obvious. Regarding traditional feature-phones (so called Galakei, Galapagos Keitai)[3], content providers offered tunes and compositions within the framework provided by the telecommunication companies, which was a “Closed World”.

On the other hand, when smartphones, mobile phones with computer functions such as being able to freely access the Internet, connect with illegal distribution sites it is still difficult and will be so for a while to realize disconnection of these phones. Until then, it is necessary to re-define the mobile business with a different idea.

In addition, the sales prices also have a great impact.

Hitherto, the price for a “Full Chaku-Uta” was well balanced with the price of a CD at 300 to 400 Yen (3.8〜5 USD) for one song, but regarding smartphone sales, Apple already set the standard pricing for 1 song at its iTunes Store at 150 to 200 Yen (1.9〜3USD), so there is no choice but to meet this price range. Even if the number of downloads with smartphones was the same as those of the “Full Chaku-Uta”, the sales would only be about half.

In 2011 Internet download distribution grew by 115% compared to the prior year. Since the fiscal year 2010 the market scale has been less than 20% of the mobile market and could thus not cover the decline of the “Chaku-Uta” market with a whole distribution at 84% compared to the prior year.

The future of Internet downloading is supposed to take the form of an individual user deploying several devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and the differentiation with mobile distribution will naturally disappear.

In addition, streaming services will spread, download service models, music and song flat-rates (unlimited listening), subscriptions services (monthly billing) will require a variety of billing plans to enable a proper use.

In the following I would like to focus on the content distribution business services and the user trends.

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

[1] Also “truetone” or “realtone”; a song from a record (mostly CD) that has been encoded into a simple audio format such as MP3, AAC, or WMA in order to make it useable as a mobile phone ringtone.

[2] Ringtone, sound made by a telephone to indicate incoming calls or messages.

[3] Japanese Mobile Phones are designed for Japanese users and are highly evolved, but never developed like this abroad, and could thus not exist outside of Japan. 


About yamabug

Music Producer consultant of contents business C.E.O. of BUG corporation director of Federation Music Producers Japan. in details ☞ Twitter ☞
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s