AnimeOnDVD reports on an interesting anime/manga industry roundtable from AX 2006.
Charles Solomon quickly introduced the panelists and then quickly went into his first question / topic regarding the growth of the anime market. Matt Greenfield of ADV stated that the market is still growing and diversifying. He believes anime is not a genre but a medium, and that we’re currently seeing fragmentation in the industry. From the manga perspective, David Wise of Go! Comi mentioned that he sees certain properties selling extremely well. He agreed with Matt that the market is getting diverse, but big titles keep getting bigger while smaller ones continue to sell the same. Matt added that the key is to find new ways of distributing anime.
Lillian Diaz-Przybyl from Tokyopop stated the trick is finding out how to market new titles. Only a minute percentage of manga releases sell more than 10,000 copies. Ken Iyadomi of Bandai Ent. also commented on the industry. In his opinion, the anime business is becoming riskier. He brought up the issue of fansubs / digisubs. Ken thinks more education is needed regarding fansubs and bootlegs. Some other points he mentioned include that Bandai’s target audience is the college crowd and anime production costs are increasing. Shawne Kleckner of TRSI mentioned that one can see a direct correlation between inflation (in particular gas prices) and sales. The economy as the whole has affected the anime market.