Being the type to delve into how industries operate when I’m interested in their products, I’ve been watching the problems with the anime industry – especially in the United States. Boom and bust cycles are fascinating to observe and the anime here in the States managed to do that in in the space of one decade. So an interview with the former Bandai Entertainment USA director of marketing gives a rare insight to how things actually work. Be warned, there is profanity in the podcast.
As I’m listening to it, the brief mention of how online piracy damaged sales caught my attention. It got me thinking on how a niche industry can be devastated by people stealing the product and never paying for it. Disclaimer: It isn’t right to steal from the big industries like Hollywood or music too. Also, I won’t get into the manga side of things.
Many are the mistakes that have caused companies to fold or retreat from the anime market in the U.S., but the explosion in file sharing coincided with rise and fall in my eyes. Once broadband saturated the country around the middle of the 2000’s, piracy of videos increased. That was also when anime imploded.