The Record Industry Association of Japan has just released the RIAJ Yearbook 2008, its annual roundup of sales figures, statistics and trends from the previous year. As expected, the CD sales continued to decrease for the ninth straight year. However, total recorded music sales are up for the third year running, thanks to strong growth from the digital sector – or more specifically from the mobile sector, which accounts for the bulk of digital music sales in Japan with full-track downloads rising 91% over the previous year.
NTT Com has announced that it will run a pilot test, from April 10 to 20, of its new Mobile Fragrance Communication service. Apparently, Fragrance Playlists can be downloaded via i-mode and transferred to a dedicated device pre-loaded with a cartridge of base fragrances. The device, a smaller, lighter and more stylish version of the previous model, then mixes the specific fragrances and emits them as the user enjoys the A/V content played back on their phone.
Backed by their telecom operator partner SoftBank Mobile, and with Hillary Duff as the campaign face, SoftBank Mobile held splashy launch parties in locations around Tokyo this week-end. Drawing attention to the companies branded offerings, with over 3 million content subscribers established in Japan over their last seven years operating here, the new MVNO is bullish about it’s domestic market potential. They have indicated a target segment focus, young women, and have a strong industry partners in SoftBank Mobile, including Yahoo!, to run a viable service offering.