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2022 Retail Music Market Survey
Nearly 40% music retailers reported sales increase
Japan Music Trades recently conducted an annual retail music market survey sending a questionnaire to 151 music retailers nationwide. In 2022 retail music business slowly returned to the pre-pandemic level as the restrictions of travel eased in March, and restaurants and shopping malls extended opening hours in and after the May holiday season. After Japanese government lifted immigration restrictions in October, number of overseas travelers dramatically increased.
All these changes and movements worked for retail music business. Nearly half of responded music retailers reported sales increase over the year before last.
Looking sales by product category, grand pianos electric guitars and in-store music teaching for adults showed excellent performance last year. It is likely that last-minute surge in demand before price hike pushed up sales of expensive musical instruments. Yamaha and Kawai raised retail price of their grand pianos in April and October, respectively, to cope with price increase in raw materials and logistic costs.
Sales growth of electric guitar were largely attributed to increasing demands from professional musicians as live music events resumed. In addition, a popular TV animation program “Botch, The Rock” attracted interest for electric guitar and bass among young generations.
While, more than half music retailers reported sales of upright pianos and digital pianos went down in the year. Enrollment of music teaching studio significantly dropped in 2020 by the pandemic. Demands for learning to play musical instrument revived in 2021, but new enrollment did not reach the level of the previous year.
Business prospects for 2023
The music retailers expect 2023 business to remain unchanged (44%), better (29%), and worse (27%) over the previous year, more positive than the last year survey. They are optimistic in keeping business that people have better accessibility to social events, performance stages and other music-related activities. They also expect further recovery of general economy which will increase demands for music making among people of all generations and growth of overseas travelers visiting Japan.
On the other hand, they are worried about store traffic affected by new variants of COVID-19, continuing price hike of products and possible delay of manufacturer shipment.