These days, it seems like anime is everywhere. From cable television to the big screen, entertainment has brought anime into a full resurgence, and it seems that sharp rise in popularity has helped the industry make some major bucks.
Recently, The Hollywood Reporter published a piece breaking down anime’s new record-breaking moment. It turns out the anime sector earned a whopping $19 billion USD total in 2017, making last year the most profitable in recent years.
According to the piece, The Association of Japanese Animations confirmed the total in its annual report which went live this week. The organization informed the public Japan’s anime industry hit record revenue of $19.1 billion.
To break things down, the bump in revenue did not come solely from domestic consumers. The Hollywood Reporter writes the market was down in revenue as it has continued to fall since Your Name debuted a few years back. However, the anime industry picked up the slack with overseas growth via streaming deals.
When it comes to overseas sales, the industry racked up revenue to the tune of $8.81 billion. This massive category includes all things from box office sales to merchandising and remake rights. The industry saw its 2017 revenue shoot up from its 2016 total of $6.79 billion, signaling a solid 30% growth. When compared to 2014, overseas sales have more than tripled, and the industry is relishing in the revenue.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, much of this foreign success comes down to streaming deals which Japanese studios have made. Sites such as Hulu and Crunchyroll are continuing to grow their anime library with on-going deals. Not long ago, the former made its partnership with Funimation official as the two companies will band together to make anime even more accessible to both casual and hardcore fans.
Of course, fans would be amiss to overlook Netflix’s move on anime. Not only has the streaming giant secured exclusive licenses to shows like The Seven Deadly Sins, but Netflix has ordered its own original titles such as Castlevania. Now, the site is working on live-action adaptations of series like Cowboy Bebop and Sword Art Online, and those remake rights are filtering money straight back to Japan. Other foreign markets like China have also opened its entertainment sectors to anime, providing the industry more outlets to license material and create revenue. These foreign ventures have eased the burden Japan's aging population has put on the anime industry, and it seems like overseas audiences are more than happy to consume what content they can get their hands on.
So, are you surprised by the anime industry's record-breaking year? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!