Big in Japan

EMI just announce the record breaking cross format sales of Japanese artist Utada Hikaru with combined sales of 7.7 million. These include fixed and over the air downloads along with various mobile content and ring tone formats. The previous record Japanese single was 4.5 million in 1975. Interestingly EMI allowed bloggers to upload the video, driving 600,000 views, illustrating that online music video really does drive sales…providing more fuel for the debate about whether digital music video should be charged for.

EMI’s decision to consider all formats in the 7.7 million total is obviously geared to maximize publicity (top selling digital singles and ring tones in the US have already each driven c.2.5 million) but it highlights both the changing nature of selling music in the digital world and the shift back towards single event sales.