Anime TV Chief Fears Loss of Child Audience


Head of top Anime TV station Animax, 滝山雅夫 / Masao Toyama, has said his greatest fear is that anime will lose popularity amongst the young, and seems set on trying to rectify matters, if in a modest way.

His statement was made amidst celebration of Animax’s tenth anniversary, with a long and glorious stable of anime (Dragonball, Gundam, etc.) stretching out behind it, mostly being distributed on a tried and true fee based model.

The comments are made against the backdrop of the gradual disappearance of anime from free to air television (in fact there is basically no anime on free terrestrial broadcasts and little on satellite: premium cable is required to view it through official channels). It seems he is of the opinion that he needs to ensure a steady influx of new patrons by providing a free entry point to the world of anime.

“Anime is gradually disappearing from golden (prime) time on terrestrial television. There is also a lack of works possessing real longevity. Cable may supplement terrestrial broadcasts, but at this rate programming will dry up entirely.”

Animax has many viewers raised on anime during its “golden age”, now into their thirties and forties. But now there is a danger that today’s children reach adulthood without ever coming to like anime. “That scares me the most. As a specialist channel, if we don’t enlarge the anime industry Animax is done for.”

Regarding the distribution and airing of new title ウルトラヴァイオレット:コード044 / Ultraviolet Code 44, based on American IP, he seems to be trying to take these sentiments to heart: “To improve sales of the PPV broadcast, first the original is put out. But since we can’t really expect much of a boost to customers with this measure alone, we’re also distributing it ‘free’ via satellite, as we don’t want to overlook anyone who might want to watch some anime.”

Via the Tokyo Shimbun.

Interesting that nowhere does he mention the Internet – how very old media of him. A few deals with the likes of Nico and YouTube could probably see a new market emerge for high definition digital downloads, but somehow I doubt this has entered into his thinking…

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    Comment by imhgtsukishiro
    11:44 28/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's a fact that the majority of anime fans are the youth: people who don't earn money for a living, who are still studying in school and depend on allowances from their parents/guardians.

    If there is a business model that would allow anime to be available for these fans but still give the network a reasonable profit, I suggest they adopt to it ASAP

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:58 01/07/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just gimme the SUB!!!
    Not DUB!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:20 21/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Simple, just make more Kanokon and ecchi anime :P

    Comment by Kyo
    15:11 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Buy a dog.

    Comment by Exiled_Gundam
    11:01 22/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hmm, maybe because if anime are shown on TV, the anime studio can get profit. While on the internet (fansub etc), they didnt get money;popularity maybe

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Even so, there is nothing stopping them selling premium downloads...

    Avatar of NakkiNyan
    Comment by なっきにゃーNakkiNyan
    06:51 03/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They need to do what fox TV does they have ad supported episodes that only cache 2 minutes or so. Still free and they get funding from ads.

    Avatar of NakkiNyan
    Comment by なっきにゃーNakkiNyan
    06:53 03/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...And it won't progress until you get through the 20sec commercial.

    Comment by Exiled_Gundam
    11:17 22/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    But, most people who buy the premium downloads are not kids, while tv is free (for cable tv, parents are the one who pays)

    Comment by Panther
    12:20 22/06/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japanese heads all need to learn about the new ways that kids are picking up stuff with nowadays, seriously. Like the Internets.

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