Anime Industry Sales Fell In 2020 For The First Time In A Decade

Sales in Japan’s anime industry fell 1.8% on year in 2020, according to a new report by market research firm Teikoku Databank, as hit films such as the record success of the manga series “Demon Slayer” failed to offset the pandemic, according to credit research firm.

The industry’s sales reached 251.1 billion yen (USD$2.3B) last year, down from a record 255.7 billion yen in 2019, says the report (which based its figures on the revenue at 300 surveyed production companies). The report blames production and release delays caused by Covid, as well as a decline in the number of tv anime shows being made.  the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed production processes at many studios, with 48.6% of the 300 animation companies surveyed reporting a drop in sales in 2020. Overall, 31.6% saw their sales rise while 48.6% saw them fall. In terms of profit, 31.1% reported an increase in profits, while 29.5% of companies had a drop in profits. Nearly 38% of the companies suffered losses last year.

Meanwhile, anime is globalizing. Of the 300 companies, 68 reported that they have struck business deals with overseas companies. China was the most common international partner (36 companies), followed by South Korea (15) and the U.S. (14).

The prospects for the Japanese animation industry look challenging, competition from Chinese animation companies may intensify.

Chinese companies are offering higher salaries for hiring Japanese talent and gaining Japanese production skills by taking a stake in Japanese studios. The quality of their animation has improved in recent years through modern means, Teikoku Databank said.

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