World purchases fell 6% to $2.2. billion in 2007

TOKYO — World sales of Japanese toons fell 6% to $2.2 billion in 2007 compared to 2006, according to figures from the Assn. of Japanese Animations.

It’s the first drop since the AJA began conducting annual surveys of the anime biz in 2002.

According to the AJA, the main reason for the fall is a decline in TV anime broadcasting hours.

Revenues from TV anime production fell 16% to $441 million in 2007. The number of Japanese TV toons produced likewise started dropping in 2007 and is expected to continue falling this year.

 The industry also suffered declines in earnings from theatrical B.O., video production and sales, royalties, character goods and overseas sales, while recording modest increases in music publishing and webcasting revenues.  

According the AJA, the long rise in video release numbers, including many weak titles, ended up adversely impacting the earnings of package software makers, since profitability per title decreased.

Makers have accordingly cut back on the number of titles and total earnings have dropped. 

The AJA reps 56 companies, including toon productions houses and package software makers. It organizes the Tokyo Intl. Anime Fair, the world’s biggest trade fair for Japanese toons, held every March in Tokyo since 2002. 

To get the year’s numbers, AJA surveys its members, while estimating earnings from non-member companies.

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