Miku Company President Gets Defensive Over Claims of Miku's Decline

posted on by Eric Stimson
Claims decrease in Miku song output doesn't translate to popularity slump

On August 23, Hiroyuki Itoh, representative director of Crypton Future Media, the company behind Hatsune Miku, presented a lecture at the OngaCREST Symposium 2014 on musical research. Although Itoh's lecture was mostly bullish, an article by J-Cast noticed something else: after a peak of 77 Vocaloid songs with 500,000 views on Nico Nico Douga in 2012, the number has since declined to a mere seven songs this year. J-Cast used this data as ammunition in its thesis that Miku has gone out of style and backed it up with a selection of Internet comments like "lately all the songs have been a long way from general acceptance" and "I get the feeling that the makers are trying to put an end to it soon because it's not making as much money anymore."

Needless to say, Itoh did not take this point of view kindly when he read the article. He argued that J-Cast had misrepresented his data. Here are his Twitter comments:

This article is horrible. It just slaps together some tidbits in a way that looks good, even though it doesn't have enough evidence. There's a declining trend in the number of Vocaloid songs, which have been seen over five million times on Nico Nico, but there's an upward trend in views of the entire Vocaloid library, and the number of new posts of Vocaloid songs has stayed constant.

The numbers on the 2013 and 2014 graphs are from August 21 this year, and the other two numbers are from the end of last year. Obviously it's advantageous to use a longer time frame when calculating a cumulative figure. During the lecture I said, "The time frames are uneven, so this is a rough estimate," when I showed it. Another graph shows that the total number of views of Vocaloid material is actually increasing. When you accumulate content like this, there's an obvious tendency for listeners' attention to scatter, and I think the culture supported by this diversity will continue.

Thanks to Jason Brozek for the tip!

[Via Livedoor News]

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