TOKYO — Japanese video software sales fell 4.2% year-on to $3.04 billion in 2009, according to a report issued by the Japan Video Software Association (JVA) on Wednesday. This is the fifth straight year of decline for the biz since hitting its peak of $4.17 billion in 2004.

In the second half of the year, however, sales grew 1.2% compared with the same period in 2008 to $1.62 billion, but the total for the year was dragged down by dismal first half results.

Despite the sales drop, units shipped rose 2% to 87,839,326, the first such uptick in four years. Among the contributors to growth were Blu-ray discs (up 235.9% year-on) and rental-use DVDs (up 108.2%).

Sales of DVDs slipped 11.1% to $1.73 billion, with the leading genre being Japanese toons with a 24.8% share. Second was Japanese music with a 22.1% share, followed by foreign pics (11.4%) and Japanese pics (8.4%).

Among rental DVDs, the leading genre was foreign pics with a 22.9% share, followed by foreign TV dramas (17.9%) and Japanese toons (17.3%).

Blu-ray sales jumped 246.9% to $268 million. By genre, Japanese toons accounted for 52.5% and foreign pics 31% of all sales.