Understanding: Worldwide Estimations Information

Japanese Capture

IV) The case of Japan

A few months ago, I deeply went into Japanese album sales. I tried to point out all the traps of information coming from this market. Obviously, Mediatraffic hasn’t been reading it. Inside that article I mentioned digital sales which were being fully ignored by Oricon rankings. I concluded that section by stating “Adding by default 15% to all recent international albums to estimate digital sales isn’t optimistic at all.“.

Then, a couple of weeks ago Oricon started to run a Digital Album chart. Loyal to their awful habit of separating everything, they haven’t mergeed those figures into the main album ranking. In any case, my assumption from a few months ago appeared to be fully correct. Indeed, just last week Bruno Mars debuted at #6 on the main chart there with 20,704 physical copies sold. He also debuted at #1 in the Digital chart with as many as 9,090 downloads. We can see that not only the 15% minimum was correct, the fact international albums tend to perform better was also.

Of course, it doesn’t mean local acts aren’t selling well in digital format. Since the introduction of this new chart, Hikaru Utada‘s last album moved 44,000 physical units and 14,000 digital copies, a 30% addition. A few weeks before she debuted with 253,000 physical copies in Japan only, also selling some units elsewhere, also add to that missing digital sales, and you get at the very least 300,000 sales overall for the week. Yet, Mediatraffic estimated its worldwide sales on 265,000 copies, obviously ignoring the fact Japanese album sales were related to physical format only.

Now that this chart is available, Bruno Mars will get his 9,090 digital sales factored in. It is too easy to just jump onto the bandwagon when it comes. If you are aiming to be the reference, you must move one step forward before others. Collecting data isn’t enough, one needs to understand the data they are collecting.

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I read this article yhe fourth time, still very impressive for me.



I agree that Mediatraffic is not very precise but when you want to know more or less estimations of sales, it’s the only website where we can refer
But your article is very clear and I agree with you


Hello dear MJD !!!

I Just wanted to know if this week you will analyze CSPC analysis some singer or group or this week is the opening of the Holiday season ?


Hi Dear MJD !!!

congratulations again for the website and also for Understanding: Worldwide Estimations Information.
I would just like to know if this week you will analyze some group such as the Rolling Stones or singer such as David Bowie for example !!!


In Sweden the album certifications also include individual track downloads. Source: http://www.ifpi.se/wp-content/uploads/Guld-och-Platina-guide-ver2-20115.pdf Swedish text translated into English by using Google translator: “Rules for releases from January 1, 2010 Rules for certificate – Album For album titled Y, the following are included: 1. Sale of different versions of physical albums Y. 2. Download bundle corresponding first 3. For an artist albums: Download / streaming of tracks from the album under 2. crediting may take place regardless of whether they played / downloaded from the single, album or collection. Only Downloads / Streaming made no earlier than six months before the album’s… Read more »


Now double album in Poland is counted like one album. So double album will require 10,000 units shipped to be awarded a Gold plaque.




Very nice description and the photos are awesome. Thank you.


Thanks! Im take a look! 🙂

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