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Anime Industry Report Shows Continued Growth in Overseas Market

posted on by Karen Ressler & Crystalyn Hodgkins
Domestic market shows little change

The Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) published an English-language summary of its "Anime Industry Report 2017" last month. The report examines industry trends from 2016.

The total market value for the anime industry in 2016 was, as previously reported, a record 2.0009 trillion yen (about US$17.5 billion), up about 9.9% from 2015's 1.83 trillion yen. This continues the industry's upward trend; the total market value in 2014 was up 10% from 2013, and 2015 was up 12% from 2014.

However, the report noted that "the industry felt little benefit though the growth" because it was mostly attributable to the overseas market. While Japan does feel benefit from the overseas market growth, that benefit is not as direct, and is less than the benefit felt from domestic market growth, since most overseas sales go to licensing management companies.

The report stated the domestic market has stagnated, growing only 3.8% from 2013, which the report claimed is due to "unsuccessful transition" from existing channels such as television to up-and-coming channels such as internet streaming and live events.

Meanwhile, the overseas market has grown 171.9% since 2013 to reach a record high in 2016, rising from 282.3 billion yen (about US$2.631 billion) in 2013 to 767.6 billion yen (about US$7.154 billion) in 2016.

The report highlighted the Chinese market in particular, as China had the most contracts with the Japanese animation industry, according to a survey from 19 companies. In addition to purchasing streaming rights for Japanese anime, Chinese companies began investing in Japanese animation production committees in 2016, and have been outsourcing their own IP projects to Japanese studios. Overseas sales received a boost in 2015 when the Chinese government lifted its three-year ban on Japanese theatrical features, although the report also mentioned that there is a risk of fluctuation due to Chinese politics.

After China, the countries with the most contracts were, in order, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States (as seen in the chart above). The United States previously topped the list until 2015.

Also of note from the report, a total of 356 television animation programs aired in 2016, including 90 continuing shows and 266 new shows. This is an increase over last year's 341, and a continuation of an upward trend that started in 2011. The television animation market has also seen a shift in the past two years; the number of minutes produced for late night exceeded the the number of minutes produced for daytime television in 2015, and 2016 continued that trend.

The report also broke down growth and decline by segments. The movie, Internet distribution, music, overseas, and live entertainment segments all saw growth, while the television, videogram, merchandising, and pachinko segments all saw a decrease. The movie segment in particular rose 41% compared to 2015, bolstered by the success of Makoto Shinkai's your name. anime film.

Thanks to Tadashi Sudo for consultation on this article.

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