Otaku Markets 2007: Over $4 billion?


Here is some very interesting market research into the size and growth rates of various otaku related markets in 2007; the data should give you some idea of the scale of the industries in question. Essential reading, in fact:

(A billion yen is about 10 million US dollars; the percentages represent growth over the previous year)

Digital comics: ¥25 billion, +147.5%
Doujinshi: ¥55 billion, +13.5%
Plamo: ¥26.8 billion, +1.9%
Figures: ¥26 billion, +8.3%
Dolls: ¥13.5 billion, +3.8%
Model railways: ¥15.2 billion, +5.6%
Toy guns: ¥5.3 billion, -8.6%
Idol: ¥50.5 billion, -4.7%
Cosplay: ¥36 billion, +6.8%
Maid/cosplay related services: ¥10.5 billion, -18.6%
Eroge: ¥34.1 billion, -2.8%
AV: ¥61.5 billion, -7%
Total: ¥370 billion

The figures were compiled with the cooperation of businesses and industry groups. What’s included in the various categories is likely obvious. The report itself.

The level of detail they provide about their research methods is less than impressive, especially since they fail to comment on whether they had fewer or more data sources for this year versus the previous.

Still, if we take these figures as general estimates they are sound enough, and there is certainly little better available.

You may notice that anime, manga, light novels and games are absent – presumably include much in the way of non-otaku items.

Some research brings up the following slightly less current information regarding these omissions:

The anime market (including cartoons, etc.) is estimated to be about ¥210 billion in 2005; its current state is not clear. Frankly, this seems too low, considering what we saw above…

The manga market is some ¥500 billion as of 2005, but it has apparently been shrinking year on year for some time and is now below that level.

JETRO have an interesting English language report on the state and structure of the manga market which you may find instructive, and another one on the anime market.

It is inappropriate to include games in my opinion as there is no way of discriminating between the various genres, platforms and visual styles with this level of data, but it will not hurt to mention that the 2005 figure was ¥1,100 billion, which has likely increased since then. Games are the future convergence medium, after all.

All these figures are basically domestic in nature, although likely include some international sales.

In conclusion, the otaku markets look to be in the $4 billion region by this count (depending on how much of the anime, manga, and game markets we include, it could be much higher), inaccurate as it is.

More interesting are the trends evident in the data however, with an enormous doujinshi market evident, and strong growth on a variety of fronts – I leave the rest of the analysis to you.

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    Comment by Leomb
    03:46 07/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is weird...

    What is the income from DVDs selling and TV advertisement broadcasting and from cine?!?!?!

    Thanks for posting the news! I like this kind of data!!! ^__^

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:15 27/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    4 billion?...
    Now how many scouters will Vegeta crush this time?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:07 29/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Donations. Donations for all!

    Comment by Keriaku
    09:47 13/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Could anybody clarify what some of these things are? I'm just curious.

    For example, what are: Plamo and AV? And how do Toy Guns have to do with the Otaku market?

    I also assume digital manga means manga to cell phones and such?

    Comment by Quen
    11:50 13/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Plama - Pura Moderu or plastic models, means mecha kits that have to be put together and painted by the consumer. Huge amount of this is Gundam.

    AV - Adult Video - standard porn.

    Not surprising AV got such a high #, since that's a strongly desired good even for the non-otaku marketplace.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Plamo in this case includes model planes and the like. Toy guns is a catch all including airsoft and similar quasi-replica guns.

    Only other unclear one is dolls: it's not clear whether they include realistic sex dolls in with dolls...

    Comment by ornehx
    22:03 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow, AV took the biggest cake. is it a wonder??

    Comment by Tim
    22:18 12/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The picture used is far more interesting hmmm

    Avatar of alex1_phang3
    Comment by alex1_phang3
    01:54 13/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is the happiest Reimu Ive seen!

    Congrats Reimu! You've finally got your osaisen!! T^T

    ehem . anyways . . . this is not surprising actually . . .

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