Japan Data

Yoasobi’s “Idol” Helps Lift Japan’s Music Royalties to New High

Music Entertainment

Whether enjoyed through streaming or sung at karaoke, “Idol” by Yoasobi, the theme song for the Oshi no Ko anime, was Japan’s most popular song of the 2023 fiscal year.

The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers announced that in fiscal 2023 music royalties rose by 6.3% from the previous year to ¥137.2 billion, marking a new record high.

Interactive streaming, such as via music subscription services and YouTube, was the driving force behind the rise, increasing by 9.1% year-on-year to ¥48.7 billion. This area has been growing since around 2015, but the embrace of online activities across society during the COVID-19 pandemic boosted use of subscription services and video streaming. Revenue from performances, including live concerts, also made headway, rising by 13.8% to approximately ¥23.7 billion, mainly because of the higher number of events that were held.

Royalties by Year in Japan

The work that generated the highest royalties through distribution by JASRAC in 2023 was “Idol” by Yoasobi, released in April 2023 which is the opening theme song for the TV animation Oshi no Ko. Its popularity was not limited to only Japan as, on June 10, 2023, it rose to the top of the Billboard Global Excluding US chart, becoming the first song sung in Japanese to do so. It was also the fastest in history to exceed 600 million total streams and views in Japan. Soon after the song was released, it became a megahit, being enjoyed in a wide range of fields, including interactive streaming and karaoke.

In second place was “Kawaikute gomen” (Sorry for Being So Cute) by HoneyWorks. This was mainly due to its accompanying dance video that went viral among Generation Z on social media. It was streamed 100 million times in total, surpassed 150 million views on TikTok, and was also sung frequently at karaoke.

Top 10 Japanese Musical Works by Royalty Distribution

Song Artist
1 “Idol” Yoasobi
2 “Kawaikute gomen” (Sorry for Being Cute) HoneyWorks
3 “Senkō” (Flash of Light) Alexandros
4 “Tensai bakabon” (Genius Bakabon) Idol Four
5 “Subtitle” Official Hige Dandism
6 “Shinderera gāru” (Cinderella Girl) King & Prince
7 “Mikkusu nattsu” (Mixed Nuts) Official Hige Dandism
8 One Piece BGM
9 “Genki o dashite” (Cheer Up) Takeuchi Mariya
10 “Yoru ni kakeru” (Into the Night)   Yoasobi

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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