Brendan Gaffney


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This project takes a critical look at the challenges and opportunities facing Japanese pop music (“J-Pop”) export and culminates in a series of recommendations and best practices that should be implemented by J-Pop artists, managers, and record labels for successful crossover to Western markets. The conclusions outlined in this project are found through a systematic and comprehensive analyses of the Japanese recorded music market, J-Pop song structure, case studies of J-Pop artists` attempts to break into the U.S. and U.K. markets, and successful export of K-Pop. In the key findings of the research compiled for this project, music industry scholars will come away with an understanding of the historical and modern challenges that J-Pop music has faced (including being pigeonholed as a novelty genre, anti-Japanese racism, and inadequate support from labels and management companies), as well as opportunities to exploit new technologies and societal attitudes to redirect advanced fan engagement tactics towards Western fans. Areas of continued analysis and research based on the findings in this project are further proposed.

Publication Date



Valencia (Spain) Campus


J-Pop; music export; crossover; Western markets

Traffic Jams in Tokyo, New Music on the Radio:  Exporting J-Pop, Hurdles and Precedents