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What's With Japan And All The Singles?

Guest Malice_Kaiser

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Guest Malice_Kaiser

Anyone get this?
Seriously, am I missing something?

I've listened to Jrock for 6 years now, since 7th grade, and I still don't get why Japanese artists will release like 20 singles and in all that time only release like 2 albums. I think it's really annoying...

Nothing against the Japanese music itself, but their marketing really sucks. That's another reason I'm glad I'm more into Korean music now, it's just way more convenient...

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Yeah, it's all just a marketing ploy to make money. I mean, look at the sales figures XD

Japanese single sales go up to the millions, while in Korea/Taiwan/HK they're only in the 5 digit zones.

If they're making money, then why not? They only do that because there ARE millions of fans out there who are willing to empty their wallets for their favourite idol groups. Japanese artists would lose so much revenue if they only released albums ever so often, anyway.

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Guest Riseup12

It's smart. Releasing the singles, giving people a taste of the artiste's future album.

A lot of people buy singles, sometimes their reason is that they only like one particular song from an artiste. Plus they're much cheaper -o-...

It's not like they release a one-song CD, the other tracks on the single can not turn up on the full album but still be really good. And err sometimes people just want the instrumental of the song which is sometimes there.

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i think it's to make more $$$$.

a single with, let's say 3 songs and 3 karaoke tracks will cost $12-$15, if the single also has a dvd attached it can go for like $20 or $25.

when you release 3 or 4 singles, then a CD, you're going to be opening up more chances for money.

what'll happen is this:

a new song is released as a single, there will probably be a music video on tv, the artist makes the rounds singing the major song on music shows, the song is released as a chaku-uta (ringtone/mp3 on the cell).

repeat the process a month or so later.

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Guest mizer_unmei

It's just how the industry has evolved. America's market was a LOT like this back in the eary days of pop music. For example, Elvis released his first single in 1954. He had 22 singles before he released his first album 1956. I heard that it was Motown that changed all of that though, cutting album tracks and such.

Frankly I think it's a nice way of running the industry. It keeps the artist in the spotlight, as opposed to having a 1-2 year time inbetween to lose steam, etc. That does however inhibit the ability to have album tracks become popular well after the release date. A good example of this is Nelly Furtado's 5+ some singles off of her last album. She was still pumping out singles a good year and a half after it came out. But that happens pretty rarely.

Rarely do album tracks in Japan become popular. I can only really think of Namie Amuro's songs like "I'll Jump" off of her first album that (I've heard) was popular in it's own right without an offical release. However within the past couple years, it's become kinda regular to make PVs for album tracks. So the songs are getting more popular that way.

There are definitely pros and cons to each way of releasing music. But with Japan's love for karaoke tracks, the way the release their singles seem to still work for them. However there are reports that it will die out eventually due to sales decreasing.

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Guest loveartiste

it is how they make the money

& it works. Look at the numbers.

I think its a smart strategy of marketing.

Their industry [music] is booming & they are

taking advantage of that because CDs still sell

& online distribution is also making a lot of revenue.

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Guest The Legend

i've always wondered the same thing. especially back when i use to like morning musume they always came out with a jillion singles!

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hmmm...i think it's cuz the majority of fans in asian pop culture are quite "obsessive"

sometimes they feel like they're not a true fan if they don't have all the albums/singles (not to mention other factors will make them feel that way)

well the marketers know that there'll be ppl who will buy them. esp if you stuff lots of goodies...dvd special, bonus tracks....certain hand contact with your favorite idol???? (haha that was an amazing strategy)

the worst has got to be when they released consecutive singles and then in their next album, practically half of it are the old singles

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Guest aishiteruhoney

for promotion, of course..

it brings in a lot of attention,

and quite frankly, I like it xD

it keeps me more intrigued :]

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Guest megan92

i know, there's so many.

i'm so glad there are websites where i can conveniently download them all without paying or i would be totally broke. =)

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yes they release ALOT of singles and not much albums, sometimes i dont like the idea but sometimes i do because they are always updated and releasing something. Also it is a very smart strategy to make money.. their cd sales are doing really well compared to other asian music markets.

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Guest EricXL

here's what i think.

(and yes, this could be COMPLETELY wrong. -o-)

the japanese music industry likes to make money off of singles.

that's a given.

i think the general public views singles as "mini album samplers," you know?

it gives a taste of what's to come on the artist's next album, so why not make it taste good so you'd come back for more for the main course?

so here's my lame analogy...

single -- appetizer; album -- main dish


that's what i think.

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I think it's a much better way for the artist to stay in the spotlight. Also, the Korean market is slowly but surely following that trend, with a lot of artists releasing singles more and more in order to combat dwindling CD sales.

The American market is of course more towards the album releases, but there are many ways the artists stay in the spotlight these days, with Hip Hop, it's mixtapes, and many bands tend to release EPs as a sampler of what's to come, just that the EPs are generally noticed by the fans that like to keep track of what their favorite bands are doing.

Also, in Japan, the emphasis has NEVER been on the album. Most albums tend to be a grouping of singles released over the past couple of years, with maybe around 3 new tracks added to add incentive.

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Guest sweet_pai

I actually like the way its marketed, anyways you don't have to buy the single, since they usually go into the album. Another plus is the fact that if they only like that one single they don't have to buy the album.

I think its a great idea keeps the artist fresh with something new.

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Guest Knixkillialuv

What's With Japan And All The Singles?, Anyone get this?

I think because Japanese don't like to date. They just jam together?

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Guest Maia-chan

Singles marketing don't suck. They make money out of that. Look at last year's Top5 (at least):

1) Masafumi Akikawa - Sen no Kaze ni Natte (1,115,499)

2) Hikaru Utada - Flavor Of Life (644,259)

3) Kobukuro - Tsubomi (441,799)

4) Arashi - Love so sweet (429,832)

5) KAT-TUN - Keep the faith (404,339)

Can you state any other part of the world (besides the United States of America & MAYBE UK) have THESE KIND of power in sales? I heard that last year's no.1 in Korea didn't even make it past 200k!

Although, I can't say that the albums are not doing well, instead they're doing even better than singles. Last year's Top5 look like this:

1) Mr.Children - HOME (1,181,241)

2) Kumi Koda - Black Cherry (1,022,448)

3) Kobukuro - ALL SINGLES BEST (852,637)

4) Avril Lavigne - the best damn thing (848,912)

5) Ayumi Hamasaki - A BEST 2-WHITE- (716,582)

And this year (for the first half of 2008):

1) EXILE - EXILE LOVE (1,445,696)

2) Kobukuro - 5296 (1,369,942)

3) EXILE - EXILE CATCHY BEST (1,132,454)

4) Hikaru Utada - HEART STATION (910,890)


Well this thread is about singles though, and they're still selling exceptionally well particularly for JE groups. So why change when they can still make millions out of it? It only sucks for us, but definitely not for them!

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