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In the first quarter of 2023, one of the Universal Music GroupOne of the world’s best-selling artists, alongside Morgan Wallen, Taylor Swift and TOMORROW X TOGETHER, was superstar Japanese pop group King & Prince.
Universal Music Group reported last month that its overall recorded music revenue for the first quarter of 2023 (including streaming and physical, etc.) was €1.923 billion ($2.06 billion), at the top 9.6% year over year at constant currency.
Within Universal’s recorded music business, physical revenue increased 32.6% year over year at constant exchange rate at 313 million euros ($335.84 million).
UMG said this growth was driven “by strong CD and DVD sales in Japan and improving vinyl sales.”
Superstars King & Prince, signed through Universal Music Japan, contributed to these strong sales and to UMG’s overall recorded music revenue.
As the Chairman and CEO of UMG pointed out Sir Lucian Grainge during the company’s call with analysts on April 26, King & Prince sold more than 1 million CD copies of their single Life goes on in its first week.
Grainge noted that it was “the first time in three years that the sales threshold had been crossed.”
Following the success of Life goes onKing & Prince and Universal Music Japan, continued to sell a lot of physical music in the market.
UMG claims the group has now set the record for fastest sale of 2023 album in Japan, with the release of their compilation album, M.5 (released April 19).
The album achieved physical sales of over 1.2 million in its first week.
The ‘best of’ album also became the band’s fifth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 on the Oricon Weekly Albums Chart in Japan and is the first album of 2023 to sell over 1 million. copies during its first week in Japan.
Since their debut in 2018, King & Prince have become one of Japan’s most popular groups.
M.5 marks the band’s best-selling album to date, achieving CD sales of over 1.03 million copies in its first 48 hours, with 916,000 sales from its first day of sale.
It is the band’s fifth consecutive album to top the Oricon album chart, with all five albums achieving national sales of more than 300,000 copies.
“It shows that physical CDs still have great potential in Japan as a product for artists to express their creativity and entertain their fans.”
Naoshi Fujikura, Universal Music Japan
Speaking on the chart success, Universal Music Japan President and CEO Naoshi Fujikura said, “King & Prince have been Japan’s top boy band since their debut in 2018, with every single, album and video they produced reaching No. 1. on the charts.
“We are delighted that this album, which represents the culmination of this phase of their activities, has become the best-selling album in Japan this year, selling over one million copies upon release.
“At the same time, it shows that physical CDs still have great potential in Japan as a product for artists to express their creativity and entertain their fans. We will continue to support all of their activities to help them succeed in the future.
According to RIAJ data, CD sales revenue in Japan, the world’s second-largest recorded music market, exceeded 129.8 billion yen (987 million USD) in 2022, up 5% year-on-year (see below).
In terms of other physical formats, vinyl sales generated revenue of 4.336 billion yen (US$32.9 million) in 2022, up 11% year-on-year.
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