Mar 7 / Sozoroo TEAM

The Rapid Growth of Japanese Anime: Over Half of $3 Trillion Market Now Overseas, with Major Contribution from Crunchyroll

Introduction: The Global Expansion of Japanese Anime and Crunchyroll's Role
According to the Association of Japanese Animations, the market for Japanese anime has reached approximately $3 trillion, with more than half of that revenue coming from international markets. A major contributor to this global expansion is Crunchyroll, an American video-on-demand (VOD) service specializing in Japanese anime. Since its launch in 2006, Crunchyroll has played a pivotal role in bringing Japanese anime to audiences worldwide, surpassing 13 million paid subscribers and supporting the distribution of Japanese anime films in the United States.

Revolutionizing the Anime Industry: Crunchyroll's Fight Against Piracy
Crunchyroll emerged at a time when illegal uploads were dampening the overseas anime market. By legitimizing the distribution of Japanese anime content and advocating for a cleaner market, Crunchyroll revolutionized the industry. The service established partnerships with Japanese production companies and enabled simultaneous distribution with Japanese broadcasts through timely translation and dubbing auditions tailored to local audiences.

Accelerated popularity in the midst of the pandemic: A shift in viewing habits
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in anime popularity, especially among Generation Z in the United States. A survey by entertainment news site Polygon found that 42% of American Gen Zers watch anime on a weekly basis, often finding anime more engaging than traditional Hollywood movies. This trend was further fueled by the proliferation of reaction video culture on social media platforms during the pandemic, accelerating the popularity of Japanese anime in America.

Crunchyroll's Growth and Event Expansion
Crunchyroll's paid subscriber base has grown to over 13 million, expanding not only in the United States, but also in South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. Since 2017, Crunchyroll has hosted the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, a global event where fans around the world vote for their favorite Japanese anime productions. In addition, Crunchyroll actively organizes real-world events and merchandise sales to drive engagement beyond online streaming, contributing to the overall growth of the anime industry.

Divergent trends in global anime popularity
Anime preferences vary from region to region, with localized trends shaping viewing habits. For example, soccer-loving nations are drawn to anime such as "Blue Lock," while India prefers action-packed battles and fantasy genres. France, on the other hand, embraces a wide range of anime genres. Crunchyroll adapts its services to cater to these different tastes and aims to connect anime fans worldwide with Japanese creators.

In summary, Crunchyroll's pivotal role in facilitating the global expansion of Japanese anime underscores its importance in bridging cultures and fostering international appreciation for Japanese animation.