Japanese music chart publisher Oricon is dropping its music download service, bowing to pressure from Apple iTunes Japan, estimated to have about 5 percent of the market. Instead, Reuters reports, the it will post links from its site to online music stores and focus instead on mobile music downloads — more popular in Japan than the PC-based kind. Since its launch in March 2005, the store has been averaging a loss of more than $200,000 a month (about 25 million yen). Oricon spokesman Teruaki Hidaka: “The iPod has outrun us all. If iPod users could download music from our site, we may have waited to see if the tide turns from mobile phones to online downloads.”
— Sounds like the real competition is from mobile. Most telling number in the story: The Digital Contents Association of Japan estimates the PC download market at about $250 million (29.3 billion yen) in 2006 compared with about $1.9 billion (227.7 billion yen) for mobile music downloads.