JMT Web News

April 13, 2015 05:12 PM

2014 Japanese Music Products Sales Increased 9%: Large Part of Sales Done on the Internet

According to the statistics complied by Japan Musical Instrument Manufacturers’ Association, Japan’s 2014 music products sales were 107.6 billion yen, a 9% increase over the previous year. Domestic sales advanced 12% to 57.7 billion yen, while export moderately increased 5% to 49.9 billion yen. The growth rates were the largest in the last 3 years.

As listed below, domestic sales rose both in units and value for almost all music products except for mini-size electronic keyboards, flutes, piccolos, electric guitars, Taishokotos, concert drums and tabletop xylophones. (Sales value increased for tabletop xylophones and accordions.)


Electronic organ significantly advanced over 200% in units and value, largely driven by new Yamaha STAGEA Electone models, which were refined 10 years after the initial launch. Also, sales of other percussion instruments dramatically increased in units. Given that they were almost flat in value, it looks small items pushed up the market, but details are unknown.


Despite comparatively good performance, music retailers reported negative market trend last year. Retailers enjoyed sizable extra sales before the tax hike in April, but thereafter, demands instantly waned. Retail business remained quiet except a minor temporal uptick around May, as customers didn’t return throughout the year after summer.

Of course, not a few retailers got through the year with excellent sales, but why did the music retailers in general fret 2014 business? The major reason was brisk Internet sales at the cost of brick & mortar stores.


Positive sides of the last year were moderate surge of export backed by depreciation of the yen, rescheduled second consumption tax hike to 10%, and low oil price. 2015 will see improved consumer confidence as workers largely of big businesses will get a pay raise.

Export also fared better in 2014 than a year before with favorable sales increase of grand & upright pianos, clarinets, saxophones and other wind instruments, tabletop xylophones, keyboard harmonicas, accordions, electronic organs, digital pianos, electronic keyboards and mini-size keyboards, and other digital music products both in units and value.


According to Import/Export Statistics compiled by Customs Bureau, The Ministry of Finance, total 2014 export was 63.1billion yen, a 5% increase over the previous year, and import was 59 billion yen, a 13% increase. Import of acoustic guitars, brass instruments, electric/electronic instruments with a keyboard and other electric/electronic instruments substantially increased. Electric/electronic instruments with or without a keyboard rose in particular.


Since 2012, Japan has imported more than 600,000 accordions and other instruments sorted in this category every year on the statistics. We have found through interviews with distributors that accordions share only 1% or 2% of the category, and 98% or 99% are supposed to be keyboard harmonicas.


Music Products Sales increase in 2014 (compared with 2013)

                                Units (%)  Value (%)

Upright pianos             105       108

Grand pianos               104        111

Electronic organs         204        217

Digital pianos               120        116

Electronic keyboards    115        110

Keyboard synthesizers  102        109

Other electronic insts.   134          99

Amps for musical insts.  115        123

Clarinets                        123        126

Saxophones                   124        120

Other woodwind insts.    125        105

Trumpets & cornets       125        112

Trombones                    118          97

Other brass insts.           122        118

Acoustic guitars             111        114

Other stringed insts.       101        104

Marching drums             105        102

Jazz drums                     120        107

Other percussion insts.    177       102

Xylophones with legs        92       107

Glockenspiels with legs   104         98

Tabletop xylophones      105         99

Harmonicas                    101       109

Keyboard harmonicas     117       133

Accordions                      98        103

Recorders                     114        118

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