Omdia says that for several decades, Japan has been at the forefront of leveraging cross-media IP opportunities, with Pokémon standing out as the property with the most prominent global success.
Since 1982, 72% of video game adaptations have been animated, and 65% of those adaptations have been Japanese anime series, according to Omdia’s findings.
James McWhirter, senior analyst at Omdia said, “Many successful Japanese IPs tend to be envisioned as cross-media from the beginning. Investors on anime production committees reveal this multimedia breadth, where record labels, games publishers and TV broadcasters come together to fund new series.
“This reveals the interdependence between an anime’s success and each funder’s own form of media within the same IP,” said McWhirter.
Cygames’ multimedia strategy for the Uma Musume IP was a success. The 2021 anime series went on to help drive earnings of the accompanying mobile game Uma Musume: Pretty Derby to over $1.2 billion in net revenue across 11 million players. It was also accompanied by the release of over 30 drama and music CDs, and multiple manga series.
Although the presence of anime has grown rather sluggishly in North American cinemas driven by a select few titles over an extended period, things are seemingly changing. Last year, box office revenues recorded an upward trend with plans to release five anime titles this year.
In the past, larger anime titles were typically limited to a restricted theatrical release. However, as their popularity continues to surge, there is a shift in the release strategy for these titles. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train broke the box office record for anime in North America. Its success was followed by other anime films such as Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
Chief analyst at Omdia’s media entertainment practice David Hancock said, “Global streaming services have changed the risk profile for anime, opening it to new audiences.
“Crunchyroll is also expanding its subscriber base after being acquired by Sony in 2021. With 10 million subscribers, the platform offers access to more than 40,000 episodes and has become the driving force behind an anime upsurge in the US.”
Hancock adds that anime is fundamental to streaming giant Netflix‘s competitive positioning against other streamers.