2009 Japan's Music Products Industry Topics

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The economic slow down continued from the year before last severely hurt every industry of the globe through 2009. However, the music products industry in Japan fought against the unprecedented difficulty with a host of promotional efforts including regular and new events focusing families as a new target group.

Such key events included: Musical Instruments Fair Japan 2009 (November), Yamaha Family Band Session (October), 1st Rhythm & Drum Magazine Festival (January), 1st Tokyo Drum (September), 18th Hamamatsu Jazz Week (May), 5th Tokyo Hand Craft Guitar Fest 2009(May), 8th Tokyo Guitar Show (June) 1st Western Japan String Instrument Makers Assn. Exhibition (July), 2009 String Instruments Fair (October), 2009 Harmonica Forum (April), and 14th Flute Convention (August).

Products Trend
Reflecting recent consumer trends that defining digital piano simply as piano, and their demands diversify, Yamaha introduced AvantGrand hybrid pianos which combines manufacturing know-how of acoustic piano and most advanced digital technology after 5 years of extensive study and engineering efforts. Yamaha has restructured retail sales launching Yamaha Piano Selection Hybrid & Digital where the hybrid and digital pianos including MODUS series are displayed at the sales floor of the leading retailers.

Roland announced V-Piano which is capable of producing virtual piano sound with an innovative concept providing greater flexibility and selection of strings, hammer, soundboard and other factors determining tonal characters of piano.

Yamaha announced that it chose Disklavier as a single world brand for its automatic player pianos incorporating sound canceling system and introduced E3.

Korg added two hybrid piano units for standard and grand pianos.

Digital piano manufacturers refined their new lines with advanced basic functions at higher prices. Casio unveiled Privia and Celviano pianos incorporating Linear Morphing sound system and newly designed weighted keys. Kawai refined upper models of the CA series which feature new weighted wooden keys, a soundboard speaker, audio recording/playback capabilities. Yamaha introduced fully refined CVP series. Roland announced new HP series incorporating Super Natural Piano sound engine originally developed for the V-Piano.

Stage piano looks to be a hot item in 2010 as Mark 7 revived from Rhodes, and Yamaha added CP1,, a flag ship model incorporating new SCM sound system.

A popular animation TV program, 'Kei-On' (pop music) featuring girl high-school bands, boosted guitar and bass sales. Fender Japan shipped half-year sales worth of jazz bass for lefties, the same model featured in the animation, in just 10 days. Huge young fans flocked to JEUGIA Sanjo main store in Osaka to buy Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul Cherry Sunburst models.

Band activity is widely spread among junior and senior high school students for these couple of years. Adults are also inclined to band music. It's said that studios in downtown Tokyo are quite busy. Hopefully the good environment sustains for the guitar manufacturers and the entire industry.

Digital music products
Demands are still growing for PC-based DAW. Yamaha plus Steinberg, Roland plus CakeWalk and Native Instruments are good samples of business teamwork generating synergy effect. Sales of audio interface and controller designed for the software of group company(ies) increased in 2009.

New showrooms opened
Gibson Japan office in Ginza, Tokyo (February), Miki Gakki Boesendorfer Salon Osaka (February), Piano Forti Fazioli Showroom in Tokyo (April), Steinway Center Takasaki (May).  

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This page contains a single entry by jmtrades published on January 18, 2010 3:02 PM.

Industry Close-up: Ultimate Sound and Playing Feeling-Global Announces New XO Trumpets & Trombones was the previous entry in this blog.

Kawai's 2009 Sales Increase is the next entry in this blog.

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