Saturday, January 31, 2009

Has The World Hit 'PEAK ANIME'?

Disturbing if true: ICV2 has an article entitled, simply, Worldwide Anime Market Shrinking. In a lecture by TV Tokyo’s Keisuke Iwata, he noted that due to market saturation, illegal downloading, the worldwide recession, and the rising yen, “It is easy to imagine the global marketplace shrinking from 2010 onward." According to Iwata there may be little or no growth potential for anime sales outside of Japan and that the industry “may have to go back to the way it was in the past — back to selling Japanese animation only to the Japanese marketplace."

And with a market already glutted and the massive lead time and resources required to create anime, we should expect to see big crashes. Imagi Studios already had to get bridge financing to complete production of Astro Boy.

Anime News Network has reported that the total revenue of the Japanese anime industry rose rapidly from 2003 when it was estimated at 167.4 billion yen (about $1.9 billion), peaked in 2006 at $258.8 billion yen (about $2.9 billion) and then fell to 236.9 billion yen in 2007. Figures for 2008 aren't available yet, but given the financial distress of many anime producers, another decline is a foregone conclusion.

Also note that Iwata's market factors of market saturation, illegal downloading, and the worldwide recession apply equally to comics.

Source: comicmix


Andrew Filipe said...

Anime and Manga have to compete with many other forms of entertainment for peoples dollars at a time when people are forced to spend less. It stands to reason that growth will decrease until the world wide economy recovers. This is true of many mediums in art and entertainment (except for film which seems to do quite well during economic downturns, perhaps providing people with some level of escape).

Ninjatron said...

People like anime, so is going to be a significant appetite for it for the foreseeable future, but many of those people don't want to pay for it.
Anime conventions in the US and Canada have more attendees than ever before, so why is the market shrinking if there are more fans?
There is a dire need to legally get anime into peoples hands. Free online streams with ads and the option of paid subscriptions is a good start. Lower priced DVDs released quicker is another. All of these things seem to be happening now, so we'll have to wait awhile to see if it works.


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