Question from Hahalollawl: “This season might not be representative, but lately does it seem like we’ve seen fewer sort of mid level hits? Like in the 5-10k range?”
Stared typing up a comment but it got long so I’ll toss it in a post, especially because there’s been some talk lately about broader disc sales trends in recent years so this might be a good place to collect that. Also reminds me I never did the JVA post update…
It’s complicated. 2011, 2013, 2015 have about the same percentage of 5,000-9,999 shows. 2012 was higher, 2014 was lower. But 2011 was higher in 10ks, so it was a lot better than 2014 all in all. 2014 was definitely down in terms of 5k+ series, only 1 in 5 versus 1 in 3 in 2012. 2015 is back around 1 in 4, where 2011 was.
Part of this is an increase in short shows which are virtually all expected to sell under 5k. But the biggest reason is simply that there’s a massive increase in shows overall, without a a massive increase in anime fans or disposable income to purchase those shows. Seems natural that average sales will drop in that case.
Total shows tracked by year:
The past two years are an increase in late night productions of more than 50% from 2011. That’s gigantic, and in just a few years! One naturally wonders where they think all the money to buy all these extra these shows will come from, but presumably they’re banking more heavily than ever on other revenue streams to supplement unavoidably lower disc sales. Especially things like mobage and international streaming and music/events.
If you look at the average of all averages per year (excluding “0” aka unranked shows), you get:
All these years have only a handful of “0” series, so even with excluding unranked shows they’re on roughly equal footing. So “average average” sales number has dropped about 2k a series (roughly a third!) in a couple years.
There’s a decrease in mega-hits too, as sales get spread thinner across many more series:
Year: 20k+, 30k+ (inclusive of 20k+)
2011: 8, 5
2012: 7, 4
2013: 5, 3
2014: 5, 2
2015: 5, 3
Less shows in past years + a higher percentage being mega-hits = higher “average average”.
I stopped at 2011 because as you get father back you run into more data quality issues and comparison is less meaningful. Also keep in mind not all 2015 shows are done, so some of those averages will drop slightly. I expect 2015 to end about where 2013 was, but with a lower average average due to more shows.
Also keep in mind 0-5, 5-10 and 10- are arbitrary categories. It doesn’t take much to change the percentages if a couple shows just below 5k had done slightly better or a couple shows just above 10k had done slightly worse. G Tekketsu for example will end below 10k, bringing 2015 to 15 10ks, not 16.
And I have to add once again that these numbers only reflect the late night (and handful of prime time) series I track here. and only shows with airing dates in those years. No movies, no OVAs, no back catalogue purchases, no rentals, etc. Those numbers are all important for measuring the broader health of the industry. This just covers one large but not all-encompassing portion of the market
So all that said, you’d need to analyze the numbers in a lot more detail than I have here to tease out all the trends, but they’re some rough numbers to look at.