What will we see the coming years?
I’ve done a post in which I briefly looked at what trends I’ve spotted over the years while watching anime. Now I want take a look into the crystal ball and pear into the future. What exciting or less exciting developments are to come?
CG will undoubtedly become more prevalent in anime. We see anime that are fully made out of CG, but also use elements for movements of characters or backgrounds. We will be sure to see more of this, but as with all advancing technological advancements, CG will also transform into a more seamless integration with traditional animation. There are many innovations going on within CG-software that mimic pencil strokes, but don’t require every frame to be manually drawn by hand which often times results in many errors and is a very cost intensive method of animation.
The race to buy licenses has been going on for quite some time. Netflix, Funimation and Crunchyroll are buying of licenses for old, new and upcoming anime. The fight to pull in the most niche viewers is going to take more radical forms.
The more genre specific viewers each platform can attract, will make it a more profitable business. They are aiming for a long tail model where many small groups of users can amount to a big revenue stream, making the companies less vulnerable for changes in trends or staying dependent on block buster series and movies.
Because the anime industry is undergoing major changes such as new distribution models, the studios with the most bloated businesses will burst. Companies that don’t have the right cash flow from different sources, who for example don’t jump into the streaming business and are very reliant on physical disc sales will be hit hardest with the changes in consumer behavior.
As with changing business models and making a more diverse revenue stream, studios will look for more ways to distribute and promote their products that enhance the overall experience and lifespan of the entertainment product. Some companies have perfected this business model such as the company behind Pokémon which is still alive and kicking today. Selling only figures and cards won’t be enough. They’ll make mobile apps, better targeted advertising, partnerships and perhaps reach out to bloggers to promote their series.