As time passes by, most of the countries around the world are giving up on CDs, but Japan seems to keep the tradition of buying compact discs. The Japanese consumers spent more money on CDs last year than any other nation, while in 2011 CD sales grew 9 percent, according to figures from the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
Around 80 percent of the music sales in Japan in 2012 were made up of CDs and DVD, compared to only 34 percent in the United States, the international media reports.
Although Japan is famous for its pioneering technology, culture is one of the main reasons for the Japanese consumers preferring to buy CDs, according to Kotarao Taguchi, managing director of the Recording Industry Association of Japan. He said that Japanese customers do not just want the music, but they are also interested in the liner notes, the cover art and DVD extras.
“I think Japanese people as a nation have a strong attachment to physical goods,” he said.
“In Japan, people have a tendency to doubt the quality of products when they are too cheap. They care more about whether it has an official jacket on the CD,” said Taguchi.
The rapid aging of Japan’s population is another reason, as the older customers have a preference for buying the physical format they have been playing for decades.
“Especially customers who are in their late 30s or older who grew up in the packaged music era, they have the tendency to buy CDs,” said Tatsuya Murakoshi, a manager at the Tower Records in Tokyo.