MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.
In Q1 2023, one of Universal Music Group’s biggest-selling artists worldwide alongside the likes of 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 revenues for Q1 2023 (including streaming plus physical etc.) was €1.923 billion ($2.06bn), up 9.6% YoY at constant currency.
Within Universal’s recorded music business, physical revenues grew 32.6% YoY at constant currency to €313 million ($335.84m).
UMG said that this growth was driven “by strong CD and DVD sales in Japan and improvements in vinyl sales”.
Contributing to those strong sales and to UMG’s overall recorded music revenues, were superstars King & Prince, signed via Universal Music Japan.
As highlighted by UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge on the company’s call with analysts on April 26, King & Prince sold over 1 million CD copies of their single Life Goes On in its first week.
Grainge noted that was “the first time in three years that sales threshold was crossed”.
Following the success of Life Goes On, King & Prince, and Universal Music Japan, have continued to sell a lot of physical music in the market.
UMG says that the group have now set the record for 2023’s fastest-selling album in Japan, with the release of their compilation album, Mr.5 ( released on April 19).
The album achieved physical sales of more than 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 Japan’s Oricon weekly album chart and is the first album of 2023 to sell more than one million copies during its first week in Japan.
Since debuting in 2018, King & Prince, have become one of Japan’s most popular groups.
Mr.5 marks the band’s fastest-selling album to date, achieving CD sales of more than 1.03 million copies in its first 48 hours, with 916,000 sales on its first day on sale.
This is the band’s fifth consecutive album to top the Oricon album chart, with all five albums achieving domestic first week sales of more than 300,000 copies.
“This 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 & CEO Naoshi Fujikura, said: “King & Prince have been Japan’s top boy band since their debut in 2018, with each and every single, album, and video they have produced achieving 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 a million copies upon its release.
“At the same time, this 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 achieve future success.”
According to RIAJ data, revenues from CD sales in Japan, the world’s second-largest recorded music market, topped 129.8 billion yen (USD $987m) in 2022, up 5% YoY (see below).
In terms of other physical formats, Vinyl sales generated revenues of 4.336 billion yen (USD $32.9m) in 2022, up 11% YoY.
Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, and numerous No.1 chart positions on a variety of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, T.I., Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds more.Music Business Worldwide