entertainment

Japanese anime industry earning more money than ever, almost half of it from outside Japan

13 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Anime has never been more popular than it is right now, and that goes for both inside Japan as well as abroad. With digital distribution making it easy to watch new content whenever you want and easily catch up on missed episodes, plus an unprecedented number of slickly organized fan appreciation events and theatrical screenings, the medium of Japanese animation is in the middle of its biggest, loudest boom ever, and the industry has the numbers to show it.

The Association of Japanese Animators conducts a yearly study of industry earnings, calculating data from roughly 150 significant anime-related companies. It’s just released its 2019 report, which found that for the sixth year in a row, the total size of the anime industry grew. This also marks the sixth year in a row the industry reached a new all-time high, with the most recent study reporting industry-wide earnings of 2.1814 trillion yen.

Physical home video sales continued to decline, falling to 58.7 billion yen, roughly a 25-percent drop from the year before. On the other hand, video streaming revenue continued to rise, reaching 59.5 billion, as for the first time ever streaming is accounting for more anime revenue than physical video releases.

Another historic first: revenue from overseas totaled 1.0092 trillion yen, cracking the one-trillion yen mark for the first time, with overseas theatrical screening and anime-related video game sales mentioned as major contributors. That figure indicates that 46 percent of revenue came from outside Japan, making the overseas market nearly as important as the Japanese one for the anime industry.

However, while the anime industry may be bigger than ever, the reports figures don’t necessarily mean it’s healthier than ever. Sure, revenue being up is, judged by itself, is a good thing, but the more important, and unanswered, question is whether or not profits are up. More money coming in won’t keep the lights on if even more money is going out, something the industry got a harsh reminder of just this month as one Tokyo-based anime production company disappeared without paying dozens of contractors, only to suddenly resurface and declare bankruptcy due to crushing debt.

There’s also the question of whether or not anime industry sales growth is proportional to the increase in the number of anime production companies as the industry churns out more and more content, or the total revenue figure is being pumped up a large number of companies operating on razor-thin profit margins. Still, the Association of Japanese Animators’ study shows that there’s a growing demand for anime around the world.

Source: NHK News Web via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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Not that the employees who do all the work will be getting a cut of those record profits!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Agree with Madden, the real heroes here are the people who spend sleepless nights to produce manga and anime on time. If there was only a way to give directly to these people.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Madden @Toshihiro I agree with the both of you. actually just got back from Japan like a week ago, and yes I went to Akihabara. And I also went to Nakano Broadway as well, and I was very much impressed with it also.

It’s a shame that these animators, these cell drawers, are being worked almost like slave laborers. I mean, I read an article a while back saying that a few of them have even thrown up while working due to overwork. Of course if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have all the anime that we know and love. It’s extremely disrespectful and these companies are extremely ungrateful for making them work like that, especially with the low salaries that they get.

Hire more animators if you have to make these animators work such draconian hours! Is that so much to ask?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The title of the article says it all.

Very satisfying to see more and more shops and industries appealing to the foreign audience.

Plenty of opportunities especially to foreigners already living in Japan. 2 keys to success and independence in Japan:

・export Made in Japan goods/services

・supply goods/services to foreigners in Japan

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Very satisfying to see more and more shops and industries appealing to the foreign audience

I don't think it's necessarily intentional appealing, I think it's actually that it's easier to get hold of. It probably would have been more popular in the '90s if it was more widely available

4 ( +4 / -0 )

finally rich

Today  12:58 pm JST

Very satisfying to see more and more shops and industries appealing to the foreign audience.

That’s an example of how to kill that industry.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Not that the employees who do all the work will be getting a cut of those record profits.

Profits are not necessarily up. As the article states:

"However, while the anime industry may be bigger than ever, the reports figures don’t necessarily mean it’s healthier than ever. Sure, revenue being up is, judged by itself, is a good thing, but the more important, and unanswered, question is whether or not profits are up."

But more and more money are coming from international streaming sites directly from just 1 or 2 investors, bypassing the usual consortium of production committee, so the animation studios themselves can stand to profit more, without having to divvy up the pie between more mouths to feed

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If anime workers banded together to create a SAGAFTRA style union, they could all benefit from max hours of work per week (35) with adequate breaks (min 15 min every hour), min pay of ¥100,000 per week, and max weeks per year of 45.

OR

Make all workers partners so that they share in the profits of the company equally or by a time-in-company method.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That’s an example of how to kill that industry.

How do you figure that?

Surely the fact that a industry such as this appeals to those outside of Japan is a good thing. Just producing things for a domestic market has limited potential for growth. Selling this to those from outside Japan is great as it stymies creativity and encourages new ideas to take forth!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Anime industry has to give a push and get out of Japan. It has a very promising market on all continents. And he has to do it now. Because other countries are also starting to produce their own anime.

Such as South Korea, China or Taiwan also have very good anime. And soon they will become strong competitors.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How do you figure that?

Surely the fact that a industry such as this appeals to those outside of Japan is a good thing. 

.....

Just producing things for a domestic market has limited potential for growth. 

If you have a philistine outlook & mindset..... then sure it’s all good.

Anime is “killed” the moment it starts thinking like how Hollywood execs think about the Chinese market. Everything that made it appealing due to its “edginess” will be rendered flat and bland once the creators starts tip-toeing around Chinese and North American sensibilities as to not offend them.

Also - the domestic market is self sustaining as long as otaku are still around. All that international money is just considered gravy on top of meat.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Anime industry has to give a push and get out of Japan. It has a very promising market on all continents. And he has to do it now. Because other countries are also starting to produce their own anime.

Such as South Korea, China or Taiwan also have very good anime. And soon they will become strong competitors.

That’s considered “fake” anime amongst anime connoisseurs.

And the countries you mentioned above are just sub-contractors at best..... churning out seasonal stuff based on Japanese titles from manga.

... and lite novels from “Narou” (for better or for worse)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shōsetsuka_ni_Narō

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If anime workers banded together to create a SAGAFTRA style union, they could all benefit from max hours of work per week (35) with adequate breaks (min 15 min every hour), min pay of ¥100,000 per week, and max weeks per year of 45.

The Anime Committee system is designed to thwart any kind of change. Including staff and organization.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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