The Japanese anime industry has broken a new record, growing to $17.7 billion (USD).
According to an annual report by the Association of Japanese Animations, as mentioned by Hollywood Reporter, revenue from the entire industry is 10 per cent more than last year’s. Domestic sales of feature films increased by 14 per cent at $582 million (USD), with nearly half of that made up by Your Name’s box office sales.
Unsurprisingly, nearly a third of the $17.7 billion was made up of international sales, including broadcast rights, box office sales, DVD and Bluray sales, and official merchandising. Both mobile game sales and Japanese pachinko machines made noticeable amounts of revenue, with Fate/Grand Order considered highly profitable.
The report further acknowledged the rise of international streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon producing original series with 52 different anime studios, but did not reveal financial earnings from them. Anime series broadcast in Japan, earned $936 million.
The AJA echoed Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Director and Japanese Animation Creators Association Representative Director Irie Yasuhiro’s concerns that the industry underpays its younger workers. Like Yasuhiro, they argue that the industry is understaffed with an increasingly high demand for new content. Insofar as a number of anime studios are completely booked till 2020.
This means there’s currently little room to grow. In an effort to improve these conditions, the Japanese government announced plans for a new legislation that aims to assist young people establishing a career in the creative industries.
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