How ORICON and Billboard Japan charts work?

oricon vs billboard japan

SKE48 latest single "Suki ni Nacchatta" with Suenaga Oka as a center sold about 313k (Oricon) and 436k (Billboard JP) in the first week. 

Oricon and Billboard Japan are two popular music charts in Japan that track sales and popularity of music releases. 

While they both serve similar purposes, there are some differences in their methodologies. Let's take a closer look at how each chart works:

1. Oricon Chart:
  • Oricon is a music statistics provider in Japan that collects and analyzes sales data to create its music charts. 
  • Oricon compiles several charts, including the Oricon Singles Chart, Oricon Albums Chart, and various genre-specific charts.
  • Sales data is collected from a variety of sources, such as physical music retailers, online retailers, and digital downloads.
  • Oricon charts primarily focus on physical sales, including CD and DVD sales, but they also consider digital sales and streaming data to a lesser extend.
  • The sales data is collected over a specific period, usually a week, and the charts are updated on a weekly basis.
  • Oricon rankings are determined based on the total number of sales during the tracking period. The chart positions are ranked from highest to lowest based on sales figures.

2. Billboard Japan Chart:
  • Billboard Japan is a subsidiary of the global music publication, Billboard, and it provides charts specifically tailored to the Japanese music market
  • Billboard Japan charts cover various categories, including Hot 100, Hot Albums, Download Songs, Streaming Songs, and more.
  • Billboard Japan charts take into account a combination of factors, including physical and digital sales, streaming data, radio airplay, and online downloads.
  • The chart methodology also considers data from a wide range of sources, such as music retailers, streaming platforms, music download services, and radio airplay monitoring.
  • The sales and streaming data collected by Billboard Japan is weighted and combined using a proprietary formula to determine chart rankings.
  • Similar to Oricon, Billboard Japan updates its charts on a weekly basis, usually reflecting to data from the previous week.
It's important to note that while both Oricon and Billboard Japan provide valuable insights into the popularity of music in Japan, their methodologies may vary slightly, leading to different chart positions for certain releases. 

Nonetheless, both charts are widely recognized and influential within the Japanese music industry.

As an alternative, you should also take a look at RIAJ. They collected data from official music label which is the most accurate out of those. Label will then send the reports to RIAJ.

The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) is a recognized industry organization that represents major record labels and music companies in Japan. 

It is responsible for certifying and promoting the sales of recorded music in the country. The RIAJ's certifications are widely accepted and used as a measure of success and popularity in the Japanese music industry.

RIAJ's certification process involves verifying number of units shipped to retailers, which serves as an indicator of the popularity and commercial success of an album or single. 

The certifications awarded by the RIAJ include Gold (100,000 units), Platinum (250,000 units), Double Platinum (500,000 units), Triple Platinum (750,000 units), Diamond (1,000,000 units), and more.

As an industry association, RIAJ's certification system provides a reliable measure of commercial success within the Japanese music market. 

However, it's important to note that certifications are primarily based on shipments to retailers, rather than actual consumer purchases. Therefore, the certifications may not always reflect the exact number of units sold to end consumers.

Additionally, it's worth mentioning that the RIAJ's certifications primarily focus on physical sales, including CDs and DVDs. 

While they have started including digital sales in their certifications, the prominence of streaming platforms and other digital distribution channels has led to a shift in the music industry's landscape, which may not be fully captured by the RIAJ's certifications.

In summary, RIAJ's certifications provide a useful measure of commercial success and popularity within the Japanese music industry, particularly for physical sales. 

However, it's important to consider other factors such as digital sales, streaming numbers, and international popularity to have a comprehensive understanding of an artist or album's success.