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Old 2013-11-03, 20:20   Link #1
asaqe
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JPOP: Decline and the silence of the fans.

Recently a user by the name of mdo7 have posted an article detailing the decline of JPOP's influence and how it could hurt the industry in the long term, this was the article in question.

Quote:
I have to say that Japan's music market may not be self-sustain as everybody thought. The population decline in Japan could be fatal for the music market, also as some people said the physical sales have decline for the last few years. Also digital sales is not increasing and not only that, Japan doesn't embrace the internet unlike Korea and Taiwan, that's why both Korea and Taiwan do a lot research into IT/ICT, you don't see Japan getting involved in IT/ICT research and development. Korea and Taiwan have a lot of free wi-fi hotspots, while in Japan, wi-fi hotspots are hard to find.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/201.../#.UnPTNPmshcY

http://neojaponisme.com/2009/05/19/t...-the-internet/

Also Japan doesn't seem to imbrace Itune the same way most of the world does, here's an interesting article from ANN Answerman regarding that:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2013-10-11

I'm going quote this from the article:

You can find anime cover songs on iTunes pretty easily (and even some theme songs, albeit completely divorced from their anime of origin), but why are so few actual anime soundtracks on there? They're not even on the Japanese iTunes store, I checked.

If there's one place where Japanese and American media are completely divergent, it's music. Japan's music industry is a bizarre, frustrating collection of old-school publishers, talent agencies, yakuza, talent agencies that act like yakuza, and all sorts of other characters that often don't play nice with each other, let alone foreign companies. They move slowly, don't adapt to internet culture well (or at all), and attach themselves onto inane rules that seem to have no basis in reality, and won't bend for anyone. It's one of many reasons why so few Japanese musical acts have ever hit outside of Asia.

That little consumer revolution didn't really happen in Japan the same way it did here. Japan has had its issues with piracy, but it never completely took over the market like it did here. Japanese publishers relied more on collectors than casual music consumers, and simply didn't need a savior.

And so, things haven't changed over there nearly as much. People still buy a LOT of CDs, and as evidence, there are still quite a few CD stores, including chains like Tower Records and HMV that have long since died out on this side of the Pacific. Japanese record labels and talent agencies still hold tightly onto business practices and rules that seem to ignore the very existence of the internet.

So yes, that's why J-pop never got the same global breakout which is a shame because many of the J-pop artists/groups can rival their K-pop counterpart on global scale. I don't know if Japan know this but Europe seem to have more money for foreign artists more then US and Japan itself:

http://www.dkpopnews.net/2011/05/new...in-europe.html
I'm going to quote this part from the article:
When asked what he thinks K-pop can gain with a launch into the European market, Kim Youngmin proudly said that the European market is estimated to be worth 7 trillion Won. This basically means it's larger than the US (6 trillion), Japan (4 trillion), and China (1 trillion). He also mentioned that it's not their main goal to get into the charts and sell enormous amounts of CD's, as they're planning to attract people's attention to the Asian music market through the expanding popularity of K-pop music.
I don't know how much 7 trillion Won is worth in Yen, but if there is more money for J-pop artists, then I suggest Japan should expand J-pop beyond Asia because K-pop is getting more mainstream in Europe, what's going to happen if SNSD, 2NE1, 4minute, U-KISS, 2PM, and other K-pop group that want to debut in Europe top the UK music charts and other European music charts, Japan should take it seriously if that was to happen. Because I read an article saying that Japan's music is declining even after the new download law has passed:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news...sales-stagnate
One year after a stricter law against music and video downloads went into effect in Japan on October 1 of last year, there is no significant recovery in music sales. Instead, a decrease in music sales was recorded in the last eight months, as well as an earlier sharp decrease in digital music distribution.

According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, the number of personal computers on the Japanese file-sharing services Winny and Share has decreased by 40% since last year. While music sales during the October 2012-June 2013 period increased 5%, sales during the January-August 2013 period decreased by 7% (compared to the same periods in the previous years). In addition, legal digital music distribution during October 2012-June 2013 dropped 24%.

So Japan's music market is not even safe because of not only population decline because the CDs are expensive, and that draconian digital download law is not helping the music market in Japan, so the music industry in Japan will have to expand J-pop outside of Japan and Asia. So it's inevitable, also there's probably a lot of J-pop artists that are getting jealous their Korean counterpart are getting more famous worldwide then they are. I got another bad news for Japan and J-pop, it seems another Asian country is sharing a similar ambition to Korea, that would be Taiwan:

http://www.cepd.gov.tw/encontent/m1.aspx?sNo=0013976

http://www.billboard.com/biz/article...-chinese-music

I think Taiwan may try to replicate a similar Asian pop music wave like K-pop did. I'm seeing some new emerging artists/groups from Taiwan that could probably rival K-pop. If Japan doesn't take this seriously, they're going to be falling way behind.
That said, I have been reluctant to post the article on other sites since the potential responses would be outright hostile and calling for the moderators to delete the topic in pure xenophobia or because they don't feel the topic is relevant to the board in question. With the recent fact that JPOP wasn't even nominated at the Youtube Video Awards makes me question the future of the industry in an age where digital is nearly everything. The fact no fan of JPOP had managed to make a proper response to the question is quite depressing to know the fans are not noticing the situation.
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Old 2013-11-04, 06:11   Link #2
Cosmic Eagle
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So your point is? That fans should make more noise?

No one's blind to the fact that Japanese music is for a niche group but what would you do unless you have a couple million to bankroll a major breakout effort

The Japanese music industry isn't the only industry in Japan suffering. The real answer to its problems is a general improvement in the national economy as a whole.

Would you rather instead a horde of AKB48 clones spreading overseas generating mass-produced works which they themselves don't even make and worse, the singers themselves must suffer because of that "idol behaviour idealism" bullshit instead of being able to produce what they really want to? Because in case you are wondering, that's the way it is with most Korean acts as well.

Your source talks of Japan music industry being corrupt and money grubbing....You honestly believe Korean and American ones are not the same? That the industry there isn't a backstabbing jungle as well? The main reason for Korean success isn't because they are artistically superior (as if such thing can even be ranked as superior or inferior) but because of sheer propaganda advertising and acts catered to what the mass audience can easily soak up instead of them actually producing music by heart and soul.


Besides advertising, the reason why Japanese music is not as well known outside Japan, is because their music targets specific audiences; the AKB48 style sections don't overshadow them as much as Korean idol groups overshadow other music acts from their own nation. It's still not that bad in Taiwan where idol groups are relatively not as major. More money for artists and creators won't happen if their art is not the type that can rake in a mass audience. It's similar to why S.H.E is more popular than A Mei for example. It doesn't mean one is technically or artistically inferior, it's about which one appeals to the masses more. And if you say, replace the current artists with a new generation of specially bred idols.....What help is there when you effectively kill off an entire generation of creators?


Do you actually want the Japan music industry to go down that route? Who wins in the end? Not the performers, not the audiences, but as usual, the bigwigs up at the top, the way it is now, and the way it will continue to be to even greater extent if the industry goes all out "mainstream, mass produce consumer good style." More money for creators in the arts industry has long ceased to be true in almost every capitalist economy since a long time.

Japan's industry has survived in good economic times under this model, with it being more conducive for singer/song writers who write or perform what they want as well as for much more diversity in genres as a result. I don't see why if the economy does recover, they won't continue to survive. If the aforementioned happens and the Japanese music scene loses more of it's soul and what people go to it for....well, I'll say it's even more dead from a fan's point of view.

If Japan's economy does not pick up? Then really, instead of worrying about the music industry, worry about the bigger economic hurdle first
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Old 2013-11-04, 13:18   Link #3
asaqe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
So your point is? That fans should make more noise?

No one's blind to the fact that Japanese music is for a niche group but what would you do unless you have a couple million to bankroll a major breakout effort

The Japanese music industry isn't the only industry in Japan suffering. The real answer to its problems is a general improvement in the national economy as a whole.

Would you rather instead a horde of AKB48 clones spreading overseas generating mass-produced works which they themselves don't even make and worse, the singers themselves must suffer because of that "idol behaviour idealism" bullshit instead of being able to produce what they really want to? Because in case you are wondering, that's the way it is with most Korean acts as well.

Your source talks of Japan music industry being corrupt and money grubbing....You honestly believe Korean and American ones are not the same? That the industry there isn't a backstabbing jungle as well? The main reason for Korean success isn't because they are artistically superior (as if such thing can even be ranked as superior or inferior) but because of sheer propaganda advertising and acts catered to what the mass audience can easily soak up instead of them actually producing music by heart and soul.


Besides advertising, the reason why Japanese music is not as well known outside Japan, is because their music targets specific audiences; the AKB48 style sections don't overshadow them as much as Korean idol groups overshadow other music acts from their own nation. It's still not that bad in Taiwan where idol groups are relatively not as major. More money for artists and creators won't happen if their art is not the type that can rake in a mass audience. It's similar to why S.H.E is more popular than A Mei for example. It doesn't mean one is technically or artistically inferior, it's about which one appeals to the masses more. And if you say, replace the current artists with a new generation of specially bred idols.....What help is there when you effectively kill off an entire generation of creators?


Do you actually want the Japan music industry to go down that route? Who wins in the end? Not the performers, not the audiences, but as usual, the bigwigs up at the top, the way it is now, and the way it will continue to be to even greater extent if the industry goes all out "mainstream, mass produce consumer good style." More money for creators in the arts industry has long ceased to be true in almost every capitalist economy since a long time.

Japan's industry has survived in good economic times under this model, with it being more conducive for singer/song writers who write or perform what they want as well as for much more diversity in genres as a result. I don't see why if the economy does recover, they won't continue to survive. If the aforementioned happens and the Japanese music scene loses more of it's soul and what people go to it for....well, I'll say it's even more dead from a fan's point of view.

If Japan's economy does not pick up? Then really, instead of worrying about the music industry, worry about the bigger economic hurdle first
You got a pretty good point actually, I remember someone saying that there is practically next to nothing for musicians who aren't boy/girl/rap groups and the reason why Busker Busker was so popular was because it was "unique" from the standard fare.

Of course, mdo7 felt otherwise, thinking the fame they have found overseas is well worth the cost in the long run since this would in his eyes skew people's opinion of Japanese Music
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Old 2013-11-04, 17:19   Link #4
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The American music industry hasn't been profitable in the last decade. And Kpop seems to have more of a presence here in the States then Jpop (see Girls Generation and Psy)
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Old 2013-11-04, 18:28   Link #5
Cosmic Eagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asaqe View Post
You got a pretty good point actually, I remember someone saying that there is practically next to nothing for musicians who aren't boy/girl/rap groups and the reason why Busker Busker was so popular was because it was "unique" from the standard fare.

Of course, mdo7 felt otherwise, thinking the fame they have found overseas is well worth the cost in the long run since this would in his eyes skew people's opinion of Japanese Music
The fame "they" would find overseas would be also most likely the fame "others" per se would find overseas, not the current generation of artists....in that case, the current ones would lose out actually.


And it isn't fame per se but mass appeal....they are plenty famous enough already within the international community but only within the community of Japanese music fans
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Old 2013-11-04, 21:50   Link #6
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Wifi hotspots? We're always connected on the net here in Tokyo, at least. Thanks to our phone services. Of course you'll be left out if you're a foreigner who isn't subscribed to their services.

And I just want to add, JPOP caters to select audiences here. Audiences that pay money and not commenting bullshit and refreshing their artists new MV pages on Youtube. Music fans in Japan are the most blessed fans because they're being pandered heavily and get what they want in my opinion.
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Old 2013-11-04, 22:49   Link #7
asaqe
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Originally Posted by ultimate_noob View Post
Wifi hotspots? We're always connected on the net here in Tokyo, at least. Thanks to our phone services. Of course you'll be left out if you're a foreigner who isn't subscribed to their services.

And I just want to add, JPOP caters to select audiences here. Audiences that pay money and not commenting bullshit and refreshing their artists new MV pages on Youtube. Music fans in Japan are the most blessed fans because they're being pandered heavily and get what they want in my opinion.
I can agree with that. Kpop's concert scene is pretty mediocre. No real real local touring scene. You want oppa perform you got to fly over two oceans.
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Old 2013-11-04, 22:57   Link #8
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How does the Vocaloid scene fit into all these?
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Old 2013-11-05, 06:03   Link #9
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Hah, I can't really seem to take Mdo7's opinion seriously at all. Every time he writes something, it's about K-pop and its global success with the wall of text. Could work as a promoter with that enthusiasm of his. My take of K-pop recent popularity seems to me all about the trend that will die down soon hopefully.
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Old 2013-11-05, 06:06   Link #10
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I won't say die down...more like find it's place like all music scenes eventually, once the fan base solidifies after the casual ones disappear, leaving the actual long-term ones
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Old 2013-11-07, 14:22   Link #11
asaqe
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Originally Posted by Soliloquy View Post
Hah, I can't really seem to take Mdo7's opinion seriously at all. Every time he writes something, it's about K-pop and its global success with the wall of text. Could work as a promoter with that enthusiasm of his. My take of K-pop recent popularity seems to me all about the trend that will die down soon hopefully.
I think he already is given the way he often posts on other JPOP forums gushing about how KPOP is so progressive and open to the international market while Japan becomes more and more reclusive save the really awful acts.
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Old 2013-11-07, 18:18   Link #12
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Originally Posted by asaqe View Post
I think he already is given the way he often posts on other JPOP forums gushing about how KPOP is so progressive and open to the international market while Japan becomes more and more reclusive save the really awful acts.
Which also isn't true seeing how many Japanese concerts I've been to outside Japan already....
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Old 2013-11-09, 08:46   Link #13
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I just want to add that using iTunes as a measuring stick of how much Japan don't embrace the internet and mp3 revolution is stupid and ignorant (as Answerman is always prone to show how narrow of a view of the country/industry he has, and anyone using him as a source for argument can't be very knowledgeable either). Anyone whom had spent some time studying the Japanese and how they like to work will know that they love to build their own little system that is not connected to the rest of the world. For example we know that Japanese people had been downloading songs onto their cellphones way before iTunes even existed (which gave birth to the mega company that is dwango), Youtube don't get J songs voted is because Japanese and fans of Japanese music are probably watching on Nicodouga, Yahoo JP or Gyao instead etc. You don't find anime songs on iTunes store is because they prefer working with Dwango/Animelomix (huge sponsers of any, if not ALL, anime related concerts) over working with Apple/iTunes, not because they hate digital. Also there's another handful of music distribution services in Japan, Sony, obviously, has one which spans their PlayStation and phone product lines, there's a site call Listen Japan which offers up to date DRM free music (and true to Japan style - only usable by Japanese residents) etc etc.

The real issues - to me - really just seems to boil down to money and market - Western countries has the money but also a much richer pick of local music artists such that they have no real need for exotic music from the East, whereas the East, outside of Japan, has little spending power to afford bringing these exotic music from their neighbors. So Japan's caught in this weird situation where they want to expand outwards to the West where the money is but is a place where J music aren't really appreciated, but they don't consider the East market big enough (money wise) to worth taking note and spending effort cultivating.
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Old 2013-11-09, 14:41   Link #14
asaqe
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Originally Posted by houkoholic View Post
I just want to add that using iTunes as a measuring stick of how much Japan don't embrace the internet and mp3 revolution is stupid and ignorant (as Answerman is always prone to show how narrow of a view of the country/industry he has, and anyone using him as a source for argument can't be very knowledgeable either). Anyone whom had spent some time studying the Japanese and how they like to work will know that they love to build their own little system that is not connected to the rest of the world. For example we know that Japanese people had been downloading songs onto their cellphones way before iTunes even existed (which gave birth to the mega company that is dwango), Youtube don't get J songs voted is because Japanese and fans of Japanese music are probably watching on Nicodouga, Yahoo JP or Gyao instead etc. You don't find anime songs on iTunes store is because they prefer working with Dwango/Animelomix (huge sponsers of any, if not ALL, anime related concerts) over working with Apple/iTunes, not because they hate digital. Also there's another handful of music distribution services in Japan, Sony, obviously, has one which spans their PlayStation and phone product lines, there's a site call Listen Japan which offers up to date DRM free music (and true to Japan style - only usable by Japanese residents) etc etc.

The real issues - to me - really just seems to boil down to money and market - Western countries has the money but also a much richer pick of local music artists such that they have no real need for exotic music from the East, whereas the East, outside of Japan, has little spending power to afford bringing these exotic music from their neighbors. So Japan's caught in this weird situation where they want to expand outwards to the West where the money is but is a place where J music aren't really appreciated, but they don't consider the East market big enough (money wise) to worth taking note and spending effort cultivating.
That is a good reason, why be shackled to the will of some foreign corporate entity (and one with a slightly notorious reputation at that) when they got their own methods of distribution. But then again, it does hurt their international exposure quite a bit.

The fact that recently SNSD won by pure voting power at YT Awards says a lot of about Korea's popularity vs Japan.
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Old 2013-11-09, 23:51   Link #15
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Would you rather instead a horde of AKB48 clones spreading overseas generating mass-produced works which they themselves don't even make and worse, the singers themselves must suffer because of that "idol behaviour idealism" bullshit instead of being able to produce what they really want to? Because in case you are wondering, that's the way it is with most Korean acts as well.
The sudden popularity (or oversaturation as critics and naysayers would like to say) of the *48 families somehow kickstarted the idol boom, forcing all other idols, be it old groups (i.e. Morning Musume, et. al.) and new alike, whether traditional or avant-garde, or even boybands (i.e. SMAP), to come and try to challenge the *48 domination.

At the moment the boom, despite being confined domestically, is still much at its apex, it's never constant, which means the producers and management have to keep coming up with new ideas.

There will be the case of "no export" because the Japanese record companies feel that there will be a small audience outside Japan who care to buy their singles, apparently drawing lessons from the debacle in the attempt to export Pink Lady to an uninformed American audience, and of course the language and cultural barrier.

---------------
I'm not surprised that there are those self-proclaimed expert/writers who are actually k-pop shills or outright Japanophile elitists. And of course, Japanophobes.

Also, I find SNSD's extremely high vote count rather disturbing than genuine.
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Old 2013-11-10, 03:59   Link #16
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Originally Posted by frivolity View Post
How does the Vocaloid scene fit into all these?
The only vocaloid producers who made it big are ryo (Supercell) and jin (Kagerou days). Even those two are using real people in their recent projects. Other producers are too indie/hipster and have day jobs other than producing vocaloid songs. Utaite are exploiting free vocaloid songs to make it big. Only nagi (Supercell), chouchou and ClariS made it big.

Sega, however, are swimming in money due to vocaloid concerts and merchandise.

I can't say vocaloid is big but they're helping a lot. Specifically to young JP people to be interested in music.
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Old 2013-11-10, 04:47   Link #17
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JPOP is often associated with anime. So I think the foreign audiences are more concern on the song which represents the anime and the anime that is associated with the song than the singers themselves (at least their name). KPOP is more of the song and the good looking people that sings them.^^
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Old 2013-11-10, 11:04   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houkoholic View Post
I just want to add that using iTunes as a measuring stick of how much Japan don't embrace the internet and mp3 revolution is stupid and ignorant (as Answerman is always prone to show how narrow of a view of the country/industry he has, and anyone using him as a source for argument can't be very knowledgeable either).
Considering Justin Sevekis has contacts with the Japanese industry folks, I'd say he has more credibility than you give him credit for.
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Old 2013-11-10, 11:29   Link #19
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Considering Justin Sevekis has contacts with the Japanese industry folks, I'd say he has more credibility than you give him credit for.
Having contacts with Japanese industry folks doesn't mean his analysis of the industry is not off - that's an "appealing to authority" logical fallacy. I could also throw around my own "credentials" - I actually have several business contacts with the big anime record labels including the likes of Misshi (Mishima Akio of King Records) and Pony Canyon and Lantis as well, but that alone doesn't make me an expert either - it's all about the evidence, and Answerman's record and view of the industry is not exactly stellar when he is using the wrong evidence to prove his point. Disregarding that and just focusing on this topic - is my critic of him using iTunes as a measuring stick of how the Japanese shunts internet/mp3 wrong when I have shown with plenty of evidence that it is certainly not the case and that his view is narrow sighted? Head over to Listen Japan and see for yourself - their offerings are up to date anime songs which are DRM free - even if these songs are not available on iTunes. The evidence shows that he is wrong, simple as that.
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Old 2013-11-10, 14:58   Link #20
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Well, since it's all about pop music, I guess that k-pop probably sounds more catchy than j-pop. The marketing is also incredible from Korea's big 3 as opposed to Japanese companies.
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