Anime Industry Rose 15% in 2019

Anime Industry report

According to The Association of Japanese Animations, the anime industry rose 15% in 2019. They released their preliminary report for the annual findings to the public on November 20, 2020. The full report will be made available on November 30, 2020. The initial statistics available show that the entire anime industry rose 15.1% to 2.5112 trillion yen (equivalent of 24.18 billion USD) over 2019. Tracking the trend of growth, the market was at 1.2661 trillion yen in 2009. In a decade, the size of the market almost doubled.

The association has been publishing these annual reports since 2009, when the anime industry was in decline due to the great recession, in which Japan took a -5.4% growth to its GDP. They also publish the reports in English a few months after the Japanese reports.

The Association of Japanese Animation (Nippon Douga Kyoukai) is an industry group consisting of 52 affiliate animation production companies whose duties are to work on various issues concerning the Japanese animation industry. Most members are a part of the animation industry as well, primarily in small to medium-sized companies. This is why there’s a strong need for them to unite together and overcome some of the bigger problems, such as infringement of intellectual properties. This issue is becoming increasingly large in importance to the economy, with more and more protections being implemented by the government (such as fighting rampant piracy and illegal file sharing).

Besides the aforementioned issue, the Association of Japanese Animation also serves to resolve conflicts and provide improvements of the general production environment, talent, and overseas operations. One of their events is the biggest anime-related event in Japan: the Tokyo International Anime Fair.

The statisticians of the report have outlined their concern that the anime industry, domestic and global, will shrink over the course of 2019 for a number of reasons: the declining birth rate in Japan, affecting the available labor market; the shrinkage of the domestic market as a whole due to economic slowdown; and the Chinese market tightening viewing and merchandise regulations that started in April of last year. Despite all of this, the market has grown favorably, with a market growth rate of 62.4% from the year before to 69.2 billion yen (about 666.2 million USD). In addition, internet distribution rose 15.1% to 68.5 billion yen (about 659.5 million USD). Live entertainment rose 9% to 84.4 billion yen (about $812.5 million USD). These two subparts of the market are said to have had a significant boost overall to the market as a whole.

By far, the largest component are overseas markets, topping at 1.2009 trillion yen (about 11.56 billion USD), which is a 19% jump from 2018 and an all-time high. The commodities market made up the next largest part at 581.3 billion yen (about 5.596 billion USD). Japan aims to develop “free, fair and high-level trade rules” and strive to develop their key trade partners with the US, EU, China, and with further trading blocs, such as the trans-pacific partnership: the ASEAN-Japan economic partnership. While an appreciation in the yen against the American dollar would normally have meant fewer exports, Japan still maintains an export to import ratio of 36.7%

Domestic support from the government to production and trade remains in place and a strong part of the economy. It is available to foreign companies through tax incentives, grants, and loan schemes. However, it is also available for domestic companies to encourage them to trade abroad, contributing to the large overseas market of anime. New programs launched over the review period were aimed at promoting business investments by local companies, assisting the business succession of companies, and spurring wage increases and productivity. Animation-specific support was provided by central or local governments to animation studios.

Not every sector was growing, though. Segments that decreased in 2019 include TV, home video, and music, which continued on from previous yearly trends as streaming services and media-sharing websites continue to grew (and are still growing). TV decreased by 15.2% and home video decreased to 4.1%.

The Association of Japanese Animation have stated that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will likely be a large dip in the growth of the statistics for 2020. The authors of the report said that it won’t be until the 2021 findings that they will fully understand the impact that the previous two years will have had on the market overall.