Anime: from niche to mainstream content

What is its place in the streaming market?

Anime is a type of animation from Japan, with genres as diverse as the origins of its stories, which can stem from manga, graphic novels, video games, or original ideas. Nowadays, its level of popularity is much higher than it was a few years ago, a fact that can be attributed to its widespread availability through streaming platforms, its well-established global fan base, or a revaluation among the general audience. 

Is there really that much interest in Anime? Well, one must consider its followers, who have managed to sustain the demand for anime series and movies. When analyzing by region, BB Media found that Latin America has the highest number of users who choose Anime as their favorite (28%), followed by APAC (17% on average, with Japan specifically at 34%), UCAN (16%), and EMEA (12%). In all these regions, young people between 16 and 24 years old are the ones who most often indicate Anime as their preference. APAC stands out as the only region where women have a higher percentage of favoritism compared to men (19%). 

BB Media currently monitors 3,312 unique Anime titles that are available and categorized as such on nearly 1,500 platforms around the world. Out of these contents, 2,298 are series and 1,014 are movies. This trend is due to the fact that the Anime industry tends to focus more on TV productions, as they allow for more time to develop a story. As it can be seen below, the release of Anime productions has been increasing over the years and reached its peak in 2018. 


It’s not surprising that Japan has the largest Anime content offering, with 3,022 titles available in the country. Out of the +14K contents of Japanese origin, 23% are categorized as Anime titles available globally. However, most of these contents remain exclusive to Japan, showcasing how Anime culture continues to be a significant pillar in Japanese society while also finding its place on the global stage. 

Interestingly, the other countries leading the ranking in terms of Anime supply are all English-speaking: the United States (2,096), Canada (1,900), the United Kingdom (1,532), Australia (1,522), and New Zealand (1,414). 

Something important to consider is the existence of specialized streaming platforms for Anime, which have now become the second most common type of niche content platform, surpassed only by documentary platforms. However, it’s noteworthy that, upon investigating the major worldwide platforms offering exclusive Anime content, none were found to be of Japanese origin. Crunchyroll, founded in the United States in 2006, is available in over 100 countries and holds the greatest market presence. Funimation, HiDive, and Retrocrush are other Anime platforms from the United States, but with less coverage. There are other interesting cases, such as Anime Onegai, established in 2020, available in 6 Latin American countries and exclusive to the audience in this region; or Wakanim, founded in 2009 in France, and accessible to users in France, Germany, and Nordic countries; and lastly, there’s AnimeBox, a recent launch from 2023 of Spanish origin. 


Just as there are streaming platforms that specialize in this type of content, there are others that have a vast library of Anime despite it not being their primary focus. VideoMarket holds the top position in this list, with 2,132 Anime titles in its catalog. It’s followed by U-NEXT (2,037), Amazon’s rental service (2,021), Rakuten TV (1,885), and FOD (1,086). Among these services, only U-NEXT and Rakuten TV originate from Japan. 

Therefore, there is a significant supply of Anime content, representing a style and culture that progressively gained influence over time. What led to this transformation? 

One of the key moments on the path to Anime’s consolidation as mainstream content could be traced back to the 2002 Academy Awards, when ‘Spirited Away’ won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, making it the first and only of its kind to achieve this. However, this can be seen as either a significant accomplishment or an isolated case, but it’s important to remember that many other similar contents have been nominated and awarded at various events like the Golden Globe Awards and the Saturn Awards. Thus, the most awarded Anime titles in recent years include ‘My Hero Academy’ (14 awards), ‘Your Name’ (12 awards), ‘Attack on Titan’ (11 awards), ‘In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World’ and ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’ (9 awards each). In this context, critical acclaim has been crucial in establishing Anime as a form of art and content production. 

Anime has transcended borders, attracted followers from all around the world, and carved a place for itself in various streaming libraries. Therefore, it can be said that Anime has successfully connected with global audiences and has found its spot as an ever-evolving cultural phenomenon. 


WRITTEN BY: Mercedes García (Marketing & Press Analyst at BB Media) 


BB Media is a global Data Science company, specializing in Media and Entertainment for over 36 years. BB Media monitors +4,500 streaming services in +250 countries and territories, their prices, plans, packages and commercial offers. In addition, all film and series catalogues, including standard metadata. Streaming services, networks, programmers, cable operators, agencies, advertisers, studios, distributors, content APPs and technology companies rely on BB Media’s information and value-added analysis to make strategic decisions.     

BB Media has offices in USA, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy and the Netherlands.


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