A music download (commonly referred to as a digital download) is the digital transfer of music via the Internet into a device capable of decoding and playing it, such as a personal computer, portable media player, MP3 player or smartphone. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyrighted material without permission or legal payment. According to a Nielsen report, downloadable music accounted for 55.9 percent of all music sales in the US in 2012. US$1.1 billion of revenue in the first quarter of its fiscal year. Music downloads are typically encoded with modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) audio data compression, particularly the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format used by iTunes as well as the MP3 audio coding format.By the beginning of 2011, Apple's iTunes Store alone made
Paid downloads are sometimes encoded with digital rights management that restricts copying the music or playing purchased songs on certain digital audio players. They are almost always compressed using a lossy codec (usually MPEG-1 Layer 3, Windows Media, or AAC), which reduces file size and bandwidth requirements. These music resources have been created as a response to expanding technology and needs of customers who wanted easy, quick access to music. Their business models respond to the "download revolution" by making legal services attractive for users.
Even legal music downloads have faced a number of challenges from artists, record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America. In July 2007, the Universal Music Group decided not to renew their long-term contracts with iTunes. This decision was primarily based on the issue of pricing of songs, as Universal wanted to be able to charge more or less depending on the artist, a shift away from iTunes' standard—at the time—99 cents per song pricing. Many industry leaders feel that this is only the first of many show-downs between Apple Inc. and the various record labels.
According to research by the website TorrentFreak, 38 percent of Swedish artists support file share downloading and claim that it helps artists in early career stages. Artists, including Swedish rock group Lamont, have profited from file sharing.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) oversees about 85 percent of published music production, distribution and manufacturing in the United States. Their stated goal is to support artists' creativity and help them not be cheated out of money by illegal downloading. [ citation needed ]The Recording Industry Association of America launched its first lawsuits on 8 September 2003, against individuals who illegally downloaded music files from the Kazaa FastTrack network.
Two years after it began, the campaign survived at least one major legal challenge.[ citation needed ] The RIAA said it filed 750 suits in February 2006 against individuals downloading music files without paying for them in hopes of putting an end to Internet music piracy. The RIAA hopes their campaign will force people to respect the copyrights of music labels and eventually minimize the number of illegal downloads.
The Official Charts Company began to incorporate downloads in the UK Singles Chart on 17 April 2005, at which time Radio 1 stopped broadcasting the separate download chart, [ citation needed ]although the chart is still compiled. Initially this was on condition that the song must have a physical media release at the same time; this rule was fully lifted on 1 January 2007, meaning all download sales are now eligible in the chart.
Music downloads have been measured by the Official Charts Company since 2004 and included in the main UK Singles Chart from 2005. As of September 2014, the most downloaded song in the UK was "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, with over 1.8 million downloads.
In November 2005, the record for the best-selling downloaded single in the United States was held by Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl", which sold over one million downloads, making it the first song to achieve platinum download status. As of July 2012 [update] , the record for the best-selling downloaded single in the United States on the iTunes Store is held by The Black Eyed Peas's "I Gotta Feeling", which has sold over 8 million downloads.
Soon after his death in 2009, Michael Jackson became the first artist to sell over one million songs downloaded via the Internet in one week.However, Adele marks the most downloads sold by a single song in a week, with "Hello" selling 1.12 million copies in November 2015.
Eminem's seventh studio album, Recovery (2010), became the first album to sell one million digital copies.
Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album became the fastest-selling album within 24 hours in iTunes history after its release in December 2013. Within 24 hours of availability, the album sold 430,000 digital copies. Adele's third studio album 25 became the fastest-selling album in a week in iTunes history after it was released on 20 November 2015. It sold 1.64 million digital copies in its first week (included preorders on the iTunes store since the release of the album's lead single "Hello" in October 2015).
In 2006, the Recording Industry Association of Japan began issuing certifications for digitally released music in Japan, compiling data from the early 2000s onwards. "Koi no Maiahi" (恋のマイアヒ), which was certified as having four million units sold.The best-selling song is Fukushima-based vocal group Greeeen's song "Kiseki" (2008), which was certified for being legally downloaded four million times between 2008 and 2015, followed by R&B singer Thelma Aoyama's "Soba ni Iru ne" (2008) featuring rapper SoulJa, which was certified for three million downloads between 2008 and 2014. Greeeen's song "Ai Uta" (2007) ranks as the third highest certified song, with 2.5 million downloads tracked between 2007 and 2009. Two more songs have sold more than two million paid downloads: Ayaka's "Mikazuki" (2006) and Kobukuro's "Tsubomi" (2007). The most successful ringtone in Japan is Moldovan-Romanian band O-Zone's "Dragostea din tei" (2003), known locally as
In Japan, only two albums have received digital certifications by the RIAJ. The first was Songs for Japan (2011), a charity compilation album raising profits for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which was certified gold for 100,000 downloads in June 2011.The second album was the Japanese language cast recording of the Frozen soundtrack, which sold 100,000 copies between its release in March 2014 and January 2015.
In South Korea, Circle Digital Chart has been tracking digital sales since 2009. The most successful song according to their published data is Busker Busker's "Cherry Blossom Ending" (2012), which was downloaded over 7 million times between 2012 and 2017.In 2011, "Roly-Poly" by T-ara was the most successful song of the year, selling 4.1 million digital copies. "Roly Poly" also became the fastest-selling song in Korea's history and the first to reach more than 4 million downloads in a calendar year (within 5 months). In 2012, this accolade went to Psy's "Gangnam Style", after selling 3.8 million units.
Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki has released eighteen studio albums, five compilation albums, twenty-six remix albums, four live albums and numerous singles and promotional singles. She debuted in 1995 under Nippon Columbia with the stage name Ayumi, releasing an extended play Nothing from Nothing, which was a collaboration with Dohzi-T and DJ Bass. Three years later, Hamasaki debuted again as a singer under Avex Trax with the single "Poker Face" (1998). Her first album A Song for ×× (1999) debuted at number one on Oricon's albums chart, and sold over 1.4 million copies.
The discography of Japanese-American R&B and pop singer Hikaru Utada consists of eleven studio albums, three compilation albums, eleven video albums and numerous singles and promotional singles. Utada began as a musician in the early 1990s as a member of U3, a family unit made up of her, her mother Junko Utada, also known as 1970s enka singer Keiko Fuji, and her father, musical producer Teruzane Utada. U3 released their debut album Star in 1993, with the hope to debut in America. In 1996, the group was rebranded as Cubic U, an R&B project focusing on Hikaru Utada, resulting in the English language album Precious in 1998 with record label Toshiba EMI.
The discography of Mika Nakashima includes 11 studio albums, 7 compilation albums, 45 singles and 20 video albums. These have all been released through Sony Music Entertainment Japan.
The discography of Japanese-American musician Yuna Ito consists of three studio albums, one compilation album and nineteen singles. Her debut album, Heart, was released in 2007 after six singles, including one of the two theme songs for the film Nana, "Endless Story" (2005), which also featured Ito in her acting debut, as well as "Precious" (2006), the theme song of the film Limit of Love: Umizaru. Both of these songs were very commercially successful, becoming certified by the RIAJ.
The discography of Ayaka consists of six studio albums, two compilation albums, a cover album and numerous singles, released through Warner between 2006 and 2009, and through Ayaka's independent label, A Station, from 2012 onwards.
The discography of Japanese contemporary R&B singer and Thelma Aoyama consists of seven studio albums, six compilation albums, one extended play, one remix album, one cover album, two video albums and numerous solo and collaboration singles. Aoyama debuted as a musician in 2007 under Universal Music Japan, and became famous through her collaboration song with rapper SoulJa, "Koko ni Iru yo". Aoyama's version "Soba ni Iru ne" became one of the most successful songs of all time in Japan, certified for three million ringtone downloads and three million downloads by the RIAJ.
SoulJa is a Japanese hip-hop musician and songwriter best known for his collaborations with singer Thelma Aoyama, "Koko ni Iru yo" and "Soba ni Iru ne" – the latter of which was the former Guinness World Records holder for the best selling digital single of all-time in Japan.
To Love is Japanese R&B singer-lyricist Kana Nishino's second studio album. It was released on June 23, 2010, by SME Records. The album spawned four Oricon Top 10 singles, "Motto...", "Dear.../Maybe", "Best Friend" and "Aitakute Aitakute".
The discography of Japanese musician Kaela Kimura consists of eleven studio albums, two compilation albums, one cover album, three extended plays, twenty-eight singles and five video albums. She debuted as a musician in 2004 under the label Columbia Music Entertainment, releasing ten albums with the company. In 2013, Kimura released Rock, an album of English language covers under her private label Ela Music. In 2014, Kimura released "Ole! Oh!", her first single under Victor Entertainment.
The discography of Japanese recording artist and actor Masaharu Fukuyama consists of ten studio albums, four compilation albums, three remix albums, twenty video albums, and numerous physical and promotional singles. Fukuyama debuted through BMG Japan by releasing the single "Tsuioku no Ame no Naka" (1990) and the album Dengon. The works failed to chart, however, in 1992 the single "Good Night", aided by the popularity it gained through use in the drama Ai wa Dō da, charted on the Oricon Singles Chart, peaking at number nine. In 1993, his album Calling became his first number one album on the Oricon Albums Chart; it has sold over 850,000 copies in Japan and has been certified two-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).
The discography of the Japanese rock band Radwimps consists of thirteen studio albums, ten video albums, and 32 singles. Radwimps debuted as a musical act in 2003 through independent label Newtraxx, releasing the albums Radwimps (2003) and Radwimps 2: Hatten Tojō (2005). After being signed to major label Toshiba EMI, the band released their album Radwimps 3: Mujintō ni Motte Ikiwasureta Ichimai to increasing commercial success.
The discography of Japanese musical act Superfly consists of seven studio albums, four compilation albums, three extended plays, five video albums and thirty-four singles. Superfly began as a duo in 2003 by vocalist Shiho Ochi and guitarist Koichi Tabo; signing with Warner Music Japan in 2007. Tabo left the band in 2007 just before the release of their single "I Spy I Spy", finding it difficult to work as both the act's songwriter and guitarist. However, Tabo remained attached to Superfly, composing and producing songs for the unit until Superfly's single "Ai o Karada ni Fukikonde" (2014) and Superfly's fifth studio album White (2015), where Ochi collaborated with a range of songwriters instead.
The discography of Tokyo Jihen consists of five studio albums, three compilation albums, one regular release extended play and three vinyl exclusive extended plays and 13 video releases, released through Toshiba EMI, EMI Music Japan and Universal between 2004 and 2013.
The discography of Japanese pop duo Dreams Come True consists of 20 studio albums, 6 compilation albums, 17 video albums, and numerous singles. The band was formed in 1988 by Miwa Yoshida, Masato Nakamura, and Takahiro Nishikawa as Cha-Cha & Audrey's Project, which was later changed to Dreams Come True. The first single "Anata ni Aitakute" did not chart, but their eponymous debut album sold over a million copies in Japan and was certified Million by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). The follow-up albums also performed well on the charts, with the 1989 release Love Goes On... lingering on the Oricon Albums Chart for four years. The group's fifth studio album The Swinging Star (1992) was at one point, the best-selling album in Japan, shifting over 3.7 million copies in the country.
The discography of Japanese pop singer Kana Nishino consists of seven studio albums, six compilation albums, thirty-four singles and ten video albums. Nishino debuted in 2008 under Sony Music Japan, and gained national recognition with the singles "Tōkutemo" and "Kimi ni Aitaku Naru Kara" (2009). Nishino has released some of the most digitally successful songs in Japan: "Motto..." (2009), "Dear..." (2009), "Best Friend" (2010), "Aitakute Aitakute" (2010), "If" (2010) and "Kimi tte" (2010), all of which were certified million by the RIAJ.
The discography of Japanese pop and jazz vocalist Juju consists of six studio albums, four tribute albums, two extended plays, two live albums, five video albums and numerous singles. Juju debuted as a singer in 2001, collaborating with artists such as DJ Masterkey, Spontania and worked on the soundtrack for the film Kyōki no Sakura.
The discography of Japanese-American musician Beni consists of eight studio albums, two compilation albums, six live albums and three cover albums and twenty-six singles. Beni debuted in 2003 as a member of the Pony Canyon idol group Bishōjo Club 21 under the name Beni Arashiro, and in 2004 made her solo debut with Avex Trax.