I’m not expecting the anime industry to become perfect. There’s no such thing.
Perfection is hard.
Just take a look at a similar industry like music or gaming.
Both industries aren’t suffering from Piracy like they used to. Music and gaming have evolved drastically within the last 15 years.
And yet music in particular still suffers from Piracy (and royalties) to an extent, regardless of how much progress we’ve seen so far.
The anime industry will take a similar route within the next decade.
Here’s what I’d like to see in the future, from 2018 and beyond…
6 Things The Anime Industry Needs Within The Next Decade:
1. Global licensing without restrictions
Sounds impossible doesn’t it? And that’s why it needs to happen.
We’re a long way off from anything like that ever happening.
Right now in 2018, you’re still likely to come across one of these annoying messages on legal streaming sites…
I’m shocked this even happens in a place like the UK. But I shouldn’t be.
Indian anime fans experience the same bullshit too. So does Europe, Indonesia, and too many other countries to name.
But what if we could eliminate this licensing problem within the next 10 years?
What would the anime industry look like if everybody had the power to stream anime without restrictions, limits and country bans?
If that really became true, what would Piracy look like?
How much money would flow back into the industry since more anime fans would spend their money on streaming services that are even more valuable in comparison?
Not to mention merchandise and other anime products?
It’s obvious for this kind of thing to happen:
- The days of using old business practices for how anime is licensed… Would have to come to an end.
- And businesses would need to come up with a new formula to license out their products in a way that’s profitable, practical, efficient and flexible.
This one thing would change the anime industry overnight. Because in a situation like this:
- Businesses who own the licenses will be making money.
- Streaming companies would be able to please their customers easier.
- And fans would be happier as well.
If everyone’s happy, the industry itself would prosper to a point most skeptics wouldn’t even believe is possible.
2. Cut back on the distribution of anime dvds
Cds and dvds have been declining since 2006.
Dvds in the Anime Industry went down the same path not long after.
But here’s the thing: even in 2018, companies still insist on spending so much on distributing anime dvds, even though they’re aware that they lose money. And have been losing money for years, nonstop.
And by the way, I understand why.
Dvds matter. Some people still buy dvds and collect them. The Internet hasn’t completely replaced them and probably never will anytime soon, 100%.
But when you look at the bigger picture it’s wasteful and stupid. The internet ain’t going anywhere.
Any innovations in the future of the anime industry will take place online. Dvds are dying.
There’s no hope in trying to save something that’s already on life support, with no cure to save its life from coming to a tragic end, eventually.
3. Augmented Reality
There’s actually a video related to this with some early ideas of what you would expect to see.
Except it’ll be mind blowing as it evolves over the next 10 years.
Virtual reality is still a baby. It’ll be more than 10 years before we can expect anything massive from it in the anime industry.
So I won’t mention it here.
But augmented reality is a different story.
Pokemon Go is breaking barriers with AR. Even if it’s on a “minor” level.
But the truth is what you see is only a small preview of what’s to come in the future.
With anime AR, you’ll get to experience your favorite characters in the real world. And I’m not talking about in a weird kind of way, but more in a way that’s interesting and curious.
The kind of thing you only get to experience once in a lifetime if you choose to.
And more importantly: this will open up a potential NEW business model for the industry.
That means: more money in the long run.
4. A larger collection of anime shows on demand (old and new)
Streaming is the future. There’s no arguing with that (unless you live under a rock).
And more than anything else, anime streaming services NEED a larger collection of shows on demand.
Because here’s the brutal truth as it stands today:
- The only reason we use pirate sites is BECAUSE they offer a better service.
- Part of that service is an unlimited amount of anime shows on demand.
- Right now, no legit streaming site for anime can make that claim. Not even close.
- Mostly, anime streaming sites are best for new shows, since there aren’t many older shows.
- And again, licensing restrictions is to blame here.
You can’t really blame these anime streaming companies.
Japan is the heart of anime and the industry, so anything done outside of Japan is at the mercy of how they do business.
But within the next 10 years, it would be nice to see progress in this area. In a big way.
This one thing by itself would make a bigger difference than most other problems the industry’s facing.
5. A LARGER amount of anime shows being dubbed (old and new)
This is another annoyance in the anime industry.
It’s something millions of fans would love to see. Despite the so called “hate” dubbed shows seem to get.
Have you noticed how many subbed shows release every season… without a dubbed alternative?
It’s only when the anime is too popular for its own good, that a dubbed version is created simultaneously upon release.
Yes there are shows that aren’t popular that also get dubbed, like Angels Of Death, Island and so on.
But in general, these are the exceptions and never the norm.
And that’s still true in October 2018.
Another thing worth mentioning is older shows should get dubbed more often too.
Most of the time we’re waiting YEARS for an anime show to get dubbed. And it’s not like I’m ignorant to the reasons why.
Licensing is a pain in the ass. Everything comes back to that. And dubbed shows obviously take time, money and effort to create.
But still: pulling this off would be a pretty big deal for the anime industry in the next 10 years.
Even if it’s only on a small-scale, but enough to make a big difference at the same time.
Related: 16 Of The Best Dubbed Anime Shows
6. Newer, better business models
It’s clear to me the business models in the anime industry aren’t working as well as it could.
Don’t get it twisted. I know anime is making money… lots of it. And the numbers are only getting bigger and fatter as the years pass by.
But I can’t help but feel the business models (how money is made) in the anime industry needs improvement.
- We all know of the soul crushing salaries paid out in the industry. Which is worse than almost anything you can compare it to.
- Animator shortage. This is because of the working conditions associated with the anime industry. Caused mostly by how profitable an anime company is.
- And obviously other issues hiding under the surface.
I feel like there are a lot of barriers standing in the way of making the “business models” of the industry stronger, better, more efficient and successful.
But maybe within the next 10 years it’s time to take the business models we have in the industry, and give them some fine tuning.
Maybe it needs a new engine.
Or maybe a complete makeover all together.
If these things happen:
- The anime industry will become more attractive for people to consider working in and building a career out of.
- More anime artists and Mangaka’s will have better opportunities (maybe).
- Anime jobs will be more attractive outside of Japan.
- Anime will grow and expand like it never has before.
- And more people will become a part of the industry. Whether they’re fans, business owners or otherwise.
Some of the things I mentioned might be a stretch. Or they might not. It depends on what you believe is possible.
But to me, achieving half of these things within the next 10 years seems doable. AND Ideal.
Honorable Mentions that are “nice” to haves:
- Holographic technology.
- Improvement on VR (virtual reality).