Tokyo – Sales of digital music downloads were down 3% in
Japan during fiscal year 2009, the first decline since such sales were first
tracked in 2005, reported, citing data from the Recording Industry
Association of Japan (RIAJ).

The value of digital music sales remained flat for
the year, at 90.6 billion yen ($1.01 billion).

A total of 461.87 million song downloads
were sold in Japan
in 2009.

The crucial mobile market, where 90% of downloads are purchased in Japan, fell 4%
to 414.51 million.

Computer-based song downloads grew 9%, to 47.2 million,
which the RIAJ credited to the growing popularity of non-phone portable music
players like the iPod.

The overall decline was the result of factors including the recession, a drop in cell phone shipments, and competing entertainment like video games, RIAJ said.


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