Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 3): The Crumbling Videogram Market, but is There Still Hope?

A couple of things to note before you guys jump in to read. All of the information that you see below is accessible via the Anime Industry Report 2021 which must be purchased. You can check out the summary report available here. Note that I was unable to include all of the information included in the 130-page report. In addition, some of the charts will not be displayed as usual since I had trouble making them look good. Nevertheless, I have left all of their respective Google charts all the way down below. Also, I have decided to split the report into several sections, of which the rest of the sections are viewable down below:

Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 1): Market Fell for the First Time Since 2008, Overseas Market has Surpassed Domestic Market
Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 2): TV and Theatrical Animations at Low Production Minutes
Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 4): Music and Merchandise Sales Slowed Down

Past reports: 2019, 2020

Videogram market is at its worst position since 1991 as the market continues to shrink for the past seven consecutive years. Sales were down 17.30% year-on-year to 46,566 million yen (≈410.79 million USD) as it continues to take up less spot in the industry. Film Video Packages were also lower year-on-year from 227,276 million yen (≈2 billion USD) to 195,910 million yen (≈1.73 billion USD). The market for videogram was at its highest in 2005, generating 138,753 million yen (≈1.22 billion USD) before a downward trend all the way to 2012. It saw a small respite in 2013, but it has been down since.

Before diving further, let us talk about the market and its history. Before the availability of videocassette recorder (VCR), the only medium for people to watch Anime before the 1980s was only on TV and in theatres. But, that all changed when videocassette was finally invented somewhere near the end of the 70s and proliferation of the medium began pouring in the 1980s. Then, the world’s first original video animation (OVA) called “Dallos” was introduced in early 1980s. Ever since then, OVAs were produced and sold targeting fans of Anime, kickstarting off the videogram industry for Anime. Fans who would like a higher image quality at the time could purchase LaserDisc (LD), where the disc would be contained in a box which would contain various information about the shows, like we see today in DVD and Blu-ray packages. Something changed after that with the advent of the DVDs, in particular when Anime started to air late at night. This began somewhere in the latter half of the 90s and caused the OVA business to shrink. Fans then who missed the late night shows would end up buying DVDs to watch their Anime on a later date, signalling the rise of more Anime late night shows (amid stronger demand), and soon the buying of DVDs (or Blu-rays later) became one of the main sources of revenue for studios. 

Of course today, the business is in a tough predicament. There now exists so many different mediums that fans can choose to consume Anime. Particularly video on demand (VOD) platforms which introduce subscription type services and allow users to watch any of their favourite shows anytime and anywhere they want. This is revolutionary in a sense that you no longer need to hold your breath to wait till a new slot is announced for the shows you missed. Instead, whenever and wherever you demand it, shows can reach you in no time. The report has stated that those who live in rural and far reaching areas no longer need to make their ways to the nearest towns or cities to get a hold of Blu-ray or DVD packages of their favourite Anime and even for shows that are not aired locally. The Corona pandemic in fact has worsened demand for videograms in Japan as periods of lockdown and emergency declarations have made people more likely to be aware of the various streaming services available in the market. As a result, people and fans alike become less dependent on videogram packages. Now that demand can easily be met, the trend (of the Videogram market) is expected to continue its decline path.

The report also cited Oricon’s data, but do note that the data took into account for sales made only in Japan. As such, we still do not know how disc packages actually perform elsewhere. In terms of sales, Kimetsu no Yaiba TV Animation leads sales at 1.88 billion yen (≈16.45 million USD), Princess Connect! Re:Dive is 2nd at 1.51 billion yen (≈13.25 million USD) while Tenki no Ko is 3rd at 1.44 billion yen (≈12.60 million USD). Tenki no Ko disc sales saw a total of 207,150 copies sold, and Princess Connect! Re:Dive is at 123,785 copies in total. Kimetsu no Yaiba is mostly seen on the DVD sales chart, however note that it has eleven volumes in total. With strong sales each, it is without doubt that it could generate such high sales. Below are the best Anime video packages’ sales ranking:

Anime Video Package Sales Ranking (2020)
(ORICON Entertainment Market Report 2020 via Anime Industry Report 2021)

Rank Title Sales (¥)
1 Kimetsu no Yaiba 1,876,200,000
2 Princess Connect! Re:Dive 1,511,300,000
3 Tenki no Ko 1,437,400,000
4 Granblue Fantasy The Animation 767,800,000
5 Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia 756,900,000
6 Sword Art Online: Alicization 715,900,000
7 One Piece Movie: Stampede 628,300,000
8 Promare 627,800,000
9 Love Live! Series 610,700,000
10 Love Live! Sunshine!! 585,800,000
11 Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV 552,300,000
12 Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fine 508,700,000
13 Girls & Panzer: Saishuushou Part 2 507,900,000
14 One Piece 495,900,000
15 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T 432,600,000
16 Miyazaki Hayao Complete Box/Works 399,500,000
17 Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidou Shuki Ningyou 379,400,000
18 Violet Evergarden 375,300,000
19 Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Kan 349,600,000
20 Azur Lane 346,100,000

Anime Blu-ray Ranking According to Copies Sold (2020)
(ORICON Entertainment Market Report 2020 via Anime Industry Report 2021)

Rank Title Copies Sold
1 Tenki no Ko Blu-ray [Standard Edition] 87,700
2 Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Kingdom Movie [Limited Edition] 79,825
3 Girls & Panzer: Saishuushou Part 2 [Special Edition] 55,097
4 IDOLiSH7: 2nd LIVE “Reunion” Blu-ray Box [Limited Edition] 52,281
5 Tenki no Ko 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray [Collector’s Edition] 51,787
6 Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle: 5th LIVE@Abema TV “SIX SHOTS UNTIL DONE” Blu-ray 47,714
7 Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle: 4th LIVE@Osaka “Welcome to our Hood” Blu-ray 44,796
8 Promare [Limited Edition] 43,979
9 Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fine [Limited Release] 43,115
10 Princess Connect! Re:Dive Vol. 1 39,993
11 Violet Evergarden Gaiden: Eien to Jidou Shuki Ningyou 37,945
12 Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV Vol. 6 [Limited Pressing] 31,476
13 Love Live! Series 9th Anniversary Love Live! Fest Blu-ray Memorial Box 31,276
14 Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Kingdom Movie 30,716
15 Princess Connect! Re:Dive Vol. 4 29,314
16 Princess Connect! Re:Dive Vol. 2 28,207
17 Love Live! Sunshine!! Fan Disc: Aqours Memories 26,514
18 Princess Connect! Re:Dive Vol. 3 26,271
19 Love Live! Sunshine!! Aqours 5th Love Live! “Next Sparkling” Blu-ray Memorial Box [Limited Release] 23,191
20 One Piece Movie: Stampede [Special Deluxe Edition] 22,308

Anime DVD Ranking According to Copies Sold (2020)
(ORICON Entertainment Market Report 2020 via Anime Industry Report 2021)

Rank Title Copies Sold
1 Tenki no Ko DVD [Standard Edition] 67,663
2 Tonari no Totoro 26,319
3 One Piece Movie: Stampede [Standard Edition] 26,330
4 Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Kingdom Movie [Limited Edition] 22,073
5 Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle: 5th LIVE@Abema TV “SIX SHOTS UNTIL DONE” Blu-ray 20,495
6 Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle: 4th LIVE@Osaka “Welcome to our Hood” Blu-ray 16,951
7 Kimetsu no Utage [Limited Release] 16,243
8 Sumikko Gurashi Movie: Tobidasu Ehon to Himitsu no Ko [Regular Edition] 14,866
9 Haikyuu!!: Riku vs. Kuu 13,866
10 One Piece Movie: Stampede [Special Deluxe Edition] 12,060
11 Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi 11,416
12 Majo no Takkyuubin 11,275
13 Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol. 10 [Limited Release] 10,835
14 Boku no Hero Academia the Movie: Heroes:Rising DVD [Plus Ultra Edition] 10,588
15 Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Kingdom Movie 10,512
16 Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol. 7 [Limited Release] 9,969
17 Promare [Limited Edition] 9,966
18 Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol. 8 [Limited Release] 9,957
19 Mononoke Hime 9,886
20 Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol. 6 [Limited Release] 9,762

How about for 2021 and 2022? Although the report is rather pessimistic with its view on the Videogram market, I do believe in these two years, we may see a good trend. According to data tracked by this site, Kimetsu no Yaiba’s Blu-ray and DVD packages alone would have amounted to more than 1.5 million copies worth of sales. There are a handful of other titles that did well in 2021 such as Jujutsu Kaisen, Violet Evergarden Movie, Detective Conan Movie: The Scarlet Bullet, Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – III. Spring Song and others. For 2022, titles such as Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Movie, Chainsaw Man may invigorate sales (the latter depends on its release date). Perhaps what the industry needs would be titles that provide that extra punch.

Let me know if you find any issues with the information above! Also, don’t shy away from dropping a comment or two down below and share your thoughts with us.

The Association of Japanese Animations

Google Charts:
Animation Videograms as Reported by the Japan Video Software Association

Download visualisations:
Top 20 Anime Blu-ray Sales Ranking 2020 (Part 1)
Top 20 Anime Blu-ray Sales Ranking 2020 (Part 2)
Top 20 Anime DVD Sales Ranking 2020 (Part 1)
Top 20 Anime DVD Sales Ranking 2020 (Part 2)
Top 20 Anime Videogram Sales (Part 1)
Top 20 Anime Videogram Sales (Part 2)

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