Because it is interesting news in itself, and because I know that my friends Chris and Hanako are interested in blog posts about Japan in the non-Western world, here is my translation of a brief blog post by Mariano Amartino about the increasing profits by record labels in Japan.

The latest study by the Record Industry of Japan is really impressive. It reveals, like we all could guess, that CD sales have fallen for the ninth straight year … but, the industry’s total income continues to increase for the third year in a row – in a market where they are not discussing lawsuit strategies or anything of the like.

The real reason? Not digital strategies or anything like that, but rather the increase in music sales via mobile phones, which is already the leading point of purchase for digital music with an increase of 91% year to year. It is really interesting to see that out of US$755 million in digital music sales, $680 million comes from mobile phone downloads. (The total market of the record industry in Japan is $4.6 billion.)

The business of selling music isn’t at all in checkmate, the distribution is just changing.

In a comment on Mariano’s post, Fabio, another of Argentina’s most popular bloggers, says he recently linked to a fascinating article written by a technical translator living in Japan who attempts to explain, “Why Japan didn’t create the iPod.” It is a must-read for anyone curious about how the globalization and localization of electronic products must adapt to things like character sets and mobile phone networks.

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