[Music genre and global music market] Why did J-POP decline?

General

Speaking of J-POP, it is a symbolic existence of Japanese popular music. This word was born around 1990, when this genre of music was most popular and flourishing. However, J-POP has always been in a downward trend since the 2000s. Sales continue to fall all the time, and although there are temporary rebounds and increases, overall they are only declining. But why is this happening?

What is J-POP?

J-POP refers to popular music produced in Japan. It is said that this word was born around 1989, and it became popular in the 1990s, and it is both a term and a genre that has penetrated deeply into the young people of that time. Unlike songs from the Showa era, this genre was strongly influenced by Western music, and the lyrics and chord progressions changed dramatically. The groovy feeling became stronger, and it was seen as very forward-looking music for the younger generation at the time, and sales continued to rise, reaching its peak in the 1990s.

J-POP

Why did J-POP decline?

Why did J-POP, which developed so much in the 1990s, only decline after that? This is mainly due to the following reasons. There are no hits, and the number of fans is decreasing. Recently, CDs have become the main source of media, and the reality is that they are still the main source of their activities and rely on income from idols. The culture has not changed since ancient times, and music and other informational programs continue to be discontinued, leading to evaluations that the country is declining rather than growing. News is no longer available online and people are no longer interested in it.

Decline of the Japanese economy

One example is the decline of the Japanese economy. It is said that politics by the LDP has been lost for 30 years, and new industries will not be born just by competing for the current pie. It may be that the Japanese are a conservative race, but it may also be the result of not wanting change and being dependent on the status quo. Not only in the music industry but in other industries as well, the structure is such that only some giant companies are protected and other weak companies are weeded out. The movement to protect so-called vested interests is too strong in Japan.

Japanese music market

The Japanese music market was at its peak in 1998, when it was a huge market of 607.5 billion yen. Since then, however, the market has been declining, and in the 2000s, the market was less than half of its peak. Since 1999, sales have always been on the downside, and despite occasional rebounds, the reality is that they continue to fall. Although Japan’s music market is currently the second largest in the world, there is a possibility that it will fall to the fourth largest in the near future. Sales in the UK and Germany are growing.

JASRAC tightening regulations

With the decline of the Japanese music market mentioned above, JASRAC is also desperate. By steadily strengthening the copyright of music, we are building an environment where it is difficult for users to listen to music. In the past, bookstores, clothing stores, rental video shops, and restaurants used to play the new songs of popular artists all over the city. However, by tightening regulations, Japan has transformed into a country like communism and socialism. Regulation continues to reduce exposure and reduce the chances of it being heard.

no new business

Today’s global economy is highly interconnected. When Russia invaded Ukraine, economic sanctions were imposed all at once, and the fact that new weapons could not be made, and there were only rusty guns from the former Soviet era tells it. Despite the fact that economic markets are so closely linked around the world, the Japanese music industry is the only one that has yet to move overseas. Since Japan itself is declining, it is natural that it will become poorer.

No demand for J-POP overseas

And J-POP, which is popular in Japan, is not popular in the foreign music industry at all. This is partly due to the unique language of Japanese being a major barrier. The melody and lyrics stop in the 1990s, and from the perspective of foreigners, it sounds outdated. In fact, J-POP is often called a degraded copy of America or England. Many composers and lyricists are only known in Japan, and the reality is that only degraded versions can be produced.

no new genres

New genres are constantly appearing in the world’s music markets, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, and they are changing the music industry. But in Japan there is nothing like that. J-POP hasn’t changed since the 1990s, and listeners are getting bored. It is said that 30% to 40% of sales in the Japanese music market are Western music, and listeners are moving away from Japan.

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