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  2. ELI5:Why do some artists make Japanese edition of their albums? : explainlikeimfive
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I doubt this is the case in Japan posted by dodgygeezer at 2: I'm looking at cds at amazon. I always assumed it had something to do with Japan's consumer culture - they will pay the extra money to get the 'best' possible version of the CD.


It may not be twice the price given shipping and import costs, bringing the price to within a couple bucks might be enough. GeekAnimator - for a really thorough explanation, see here warning, Geocities. I was gonna answer this, but instead I'll just say that Gortuk above is pretty much on the money. CDs in Japan are so damn expensive because the government says they have to be.

A third confirmation of Gortuk's reasoning. The bonus tracks are to encourage Japanese to buy the Japanese edition. So how about CDs released in Japan of Japanese artists? Are they also as expensive as the CDs released in Japan of foreign artists? Do they have "extra" tracks too? They don't have extra tracks--although sometimes the production values are a bit nicer than those of American CDs; you get a very nice lyric book, or your CD in a nice box.

CDs by Japanese artists don't have an "import" version to compete in the marketplace, so they don't need to have the extra incentive to induce people to buy the Japanese version. Lastly, the market is inflated with special editions.

ELI5:Why do some artists make Japanese edition of their albums? : explainlikeimfive

A big part of Japan's music sales comes from obsessive fans of boy bands and idol groups and such that have to buy every single version of a CD single that comes out. So you end up with prices that are high because of lack of competition and high demand. Sure - they often sell blank CDs 15 years ago it was minidiscs right there near the checkout counter. This seems like the logical answer. I used to rip everything Netflix sent me back when they mailed DVDs instead of the streaming thing. I really wish VAP would put their signed bands on Spotify.

I've always wondered why they haven't.

Clean Bandit - Solo feat. Demi Lovato [Acoustic Version]

On the other hand used cds, books these aren't so expensive even if new , games, movies cost basically nothing. Usually in perfectly good shape too. A new cd might be yen, two years later it's maybe yen.


A new regular comic book is around yen, used ones yen. I once worked for a label and it always seemed like they were chasing the short term 'gain' rather than focusing on the bigger picture. There are still a lot of executives who lived and worked through the high-rolling industry of the 90's before it started to collapse in the '00s I'm enjoying watching the industry adapt now as younger people who never experienced that now have their chance to revolutionise a stale, dying business.

I remember reading before that regular non-japanese versions of albums sold for next to nothing in markets in Japan, making the artists virtually no money. So the idea of adding a bonus tracks was introduced to encourage japanese people to pay a little more for the bigger albums. And yes, selling below the regulated price is punishable by law.

So it's less a matter of not profiting enough and more a matter of profiting more than elsewhere, right? I'm not so sure about that This is a lot cheaper than the yen domestics but it's still around the price of a new cd in the States, if not a bit more. My band did this. Our label did not have great distribution in Japan and a Japanese label showed interest in putting our last album out there so we worked out a deal. We recorded one extra song, they included a Japanese translation of all the lyrics inside, and put our faces in stores all over Japan.

We ended up selling more albums in the first month there than we did in the rest of the world in the first year. Worked out well for everyone. Yep, this answer deserves more up votes. The Japanese music industry is pretty huge. Some teenage wannabe friends in the UK had a fairly ordinary four-piece and a crazy ambitious manager who took them on tour to Japan three times inside a year. Back home they struggled to get a crowd of at their gigs, but over there with a bit of clever PR and they were selling out venues of ten times that capacity, plus off-loading tons of merchandise.

They didn't ultimately make any serious money, because of the high expenses and the deal he'd put them on - but they had a wild time! Because the entertainment industry in Japan is fucked. For a variety of reasons, ALL cds sold at retail stores are sold at a government-regulated price. It is illegal to sell them for less. This means that if foreign labels want Japanese retailers to carry their product, they have to give them something that merits the higher price. If the content was identical to the foreign import, there wouldn't be any reason for the consumer to buy the domestic version at the artificially inflated price point and thus no reason for retailers to bother carrying the product.

The system, established in , allows owners of copyrighted material to set the minimum retail price of newly released or re-released products , thus eliminating any possiblilty of discounting. It's not the artists making it, it's the Japanese importer. Japanese consumers have historically preferred album booklets and ancillary materials to be in Japanese, and this necessitates a special run of albums, which is usually paid for by Japanese distributors. The distributor occasionally commissions translations and new art or adjusted art , where appropriate. Those distributors always add the "Obi", that paper sleeve on the left-hand side of the disc's case unique to Japanese releases.

All of these things drive up the price of the album, though, since distributors want to make a cut for the service they provide. To help offset this, and to keep Japanese consumers paying higher prices for localized albums rather than just buying the import in its original language , distributors often negotiate the addition of "B-side" tracks to help add some value. Many artists today are happy to include them, since recording sessions almost always produce more material than is fit for an album, and since it has become a tradition to put B-sides on Japanese discs.

Because of this system, and because the Japanese market is very unique, sales of physical media in Japan have not been affected by the internet to nearly the degree that they have been in the rest of the world. It just occurred to me that Obi literally means "sash", so it may not actually be from the kimono Obi. I'm not sure if they use the word Obi for other things, or just kimono and cd's. It's been done for many years. As stated by others, it helps boost sales of the Japanese version as opposed to import to them versions.

In addition, some of those copies are then imported back into the US, for sale at higher prices as import copies. In the 90s, this was very common with singles. In order to push single sales and drive a song up the charts, labels would release a CD single with bonus tracks. That same single would be released to Japan and the UK with different bonus songs.

Many of those singles would then be sold back to the US. Lots of extra sales for the same song and some outtake and live tracks which the label would view as basically throwaway tracks.

Japanese CD players spin on the other direction, the same technology used for printing manga. Artists have to record their songs again otherwise it would play backward in Japanese sound systems. It is that simple.

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Aside from the regulations the Japanese government has implemented, another reason a lot of bands do special japanese releases is for the simple fact that people in japan actually still buy music. And a lot of it, too. Theres still a culture of buying physical copies of the media you consume. The first time i was in Tokyo i was blown away that the convenience stores had newsstands, and they were huge and with a wide variety of stuff. Not to mention the number of record stores there are.

Japan has laws set up so that you can only sell albums from Japanese record labels. Because of that, most artists that tour Japan will have a partner label that prints a Japanese version so that they can sell the album while touring in Japan. Understanding that record collector fans will buy alternate versions of records to complete their collections, artists will often have an unreleased track, remix, or alternate version of songs and artwork to make it worthwhile for the collector to spend money on the import.

Wait so Chris Martin suddenly starts singing in Japanese or are we talking about collaborations? Or maybe just Japanese language sleeve art? That would be hilarious. We're talking about same songs and additionally one or two more tracks on different albums just for Japan in this context. Some artists off the top of my head Bowie used to make the Japan only tracks available to the rest of the world a year or so later, normally as b-sides or if you like extra tracks on CD singles.

Japan has one of the largest music industries on the planet - there's big dollars to be made there. I've heard from record shop owners that Japanese vinyl is thicker and therefore better sound. So they can sell albums to the giant Japan market. Is this really something you needed explained in detail? You know this guy is getting downvoted maybe for tone and maybe due to lack of clarity, but from the documentaries I've watched, this is right.

My understanding is that there is at least some level of feeling that outsiders need to adapt to Japan.

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I believe the documentary mentioned that Psy was one of the first artists to have real success by not doing this maybe first SK artist actually because his song was so ridiculously popular. This may only apply to nearby Asian countries, however, who there could be a feeling of superiority towards. This isn't meant to be inflammatory to the Japanese; just what I've seen.

Heck it takes pretty big acts like Rammstein or Shakira to really pull this off in the states and other English speaking countries, though we also have a ton of huge English speaking acts here to choose from making larger barriers to entry. They wouldn't need a separate version with bonus tracks to do this as you can buy imported CDs from the US or more accurately from china through US companies. Nah, I was an itty bitty baby boy when I heard my first cuss word.

Wasnt until first grade that I started using them though. You are seriously whining about more songs by your favorite band? Just go download the missing song from the pirate bay and be done with it. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Log in or sign up in seconds. Submit a new text post. E is for Explain - merely answering a question is not enough. Don't post to argue a point of view. Flair your question after you've submitted it.

Welcome to Reddit, the front page of the internet. Become a Redditor and subscribe to one of thousands of communities. Want to add to the discussion? Hahaha fuck me for not understanding something, rifht? It's about as racist as making fun of some blokes accent.

Why would they do this? Didn't you know that?