Declines in Japan's Video, Anime Sales Slowed in 2009

posted on by Egan Loo
Overall video sales fell 4.2%; anime DVDs' dip partly offset by anime BDs' 272% jump

On Wednesday, the Japan Video Software Association announced its survey results on Japanese video software sales from January to December of 2009. The overall market, which includes DVDs, Blu-ray Discs (BDs), UMDs, and video cassettes, amounted to 273.963 billion yen (about US$3.0339 billion). That represents a 4.2% drop from 2008. It was the fifth year in a row that sales dropped; the market's peak was 375.393 billion yen (US$4.1571 billion) in 2004. However, the rate of decline slowed from previous years; the raw number of releases increased for the first time in four years at 2% to 87,839,326 items.

Japanese animation for young adults and adults, such as most late-night television anime — as opposed to Japanese animation aimed strictly for children — made up the largest segment of the entire Japanese video software market (excluding video cassettes) at 28.5%. That represents a 1.4% dip from 2008. While DVD sales in this segment fell 8.1%, Japanese animation Blu-ray Discs for young adults and adults jumped 272.3%.

The market segment of Japanese animation for young adults and adults was split between the three major media formats as: 76.0% on DVD, 23.3% on Blu-ray, and 0.7% on UMD.

Blu-ray Market

Overall Blu-ray sales jumped 246.9% to 24.115 billion yen (US$267.1 million) to partly offset the dip in the DVD market. 94.0% of the Blu-ray market, or 22.659 billion yen (US$250.9 million), went to retail Blu-rays (as opposed to Blu-rays destined for rental shops). A full 52.5% of the retail Blu-ray market was devoted to Japanese animation for young adults and adults. By contrast, Japanese animation for young adults and adults made up only 16.5% of the 1.449 billion yen (US$16.1 million) spent procuring rental Blu-ray Discs.

DVD Market

Overall sales of DVDs dropped 9.6% to 249.280 billion yen (US$2.7605 billion). Retail DVDs totaled 155.961 billion yen (US$1.7271 billion), a 11.1% drop from 2008. Japanese animation for young adults and adults made up the biggest segment of this market with 24.8%.

92.632 billion yen (US$1.026 billion) was spent procuring rental DVDs, a 6.4% drop from 2008. (The rental DVD market peaked in 2007.) Japanese animation for young adults and adults was the third largest segment (after overseas scripted television series and North American/European films) at 17.5%. The size of this segment dropped 9.8% from the previous year.


Update: Fixed references to Blu-rays. Thanks, DavidShallcross.

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