Anime: The Passion Point of 2023
The power of popular culture has never been more apparent to marketers. At Culture Group, we look at where time and attention are being paid on a cross-platform basis (OTT, short-form video, social) and we’ve seen a steady upward trend in the consumption and creation of anime content across Southeast Asia.
Globally, anime is the fastest growing content genre of the past two years. In Southeast Asia, it is one of the top fandoms alongside K-pop and gaming. Now, a handful of currents are converging – streaming platform wars, demographic shifts, the nostalgia economy, and yes, pandemic-induced content binges – further fueling it into a mainstream cultural powerhouse.
Harnessing a passion point is one of the most powerful ways to engage consumers, build brand equity and become a brand that creates culture, not one that ‘rents’ or follows it. In this edition of Culture Drop, we unpack just how marketers can do so through anime.
Anime by the Numbers
Anime in Southeast Asia
A snapshot of anime’s popularity in Southeast Asia in 2022, focusing on Indonesia, based on data courtesy of our insights partner ampd
A huge portion of VOD customers in Indonesia are watching anime titles, and it is more popular than most marketers would intuitively expect.
We know that Korean and American titles, along with local titles, make up the majority of popular media consumption in the country. On Netflix, anime titles also command 18% of total share of minutes watched, in comparison to 31% for Korean and 29% for American content.
By current viewership and share of minutes alone, anime is 60-70% as popular as these leading genres. And all that, while the availability of anime titles is still not as high as that of American, Korean or local content!
Anime is no longer niche! It is just as popular as other leading contemporary genres.
2 out of the top 10 titles across all VOD platforms Indonesia were anime titles. Spy x Family, a new title that just premiered in 2022, had more than half as many unique viewers as the FIFA World Cup.
Moreover, fans of the genre are highly passionate and ready to dedicate attention to their favorite titles. Attack on Titan, an ongoing anime with 80+ episodes, had more minutes watched compared to the World Cup!
The race to satisfy consumer’s relentless hunger for content, and the need to appeal to Southeast Asian consumers’ preferences, mean platforms are tapping into existing cultural pillars for new IP. One of the genres that benefits from this is none other than anime.
OTT platforms are bringing a wider range of titles to SEA consumers, who have been region-locked out of their favorite anime content for too long. Wider accessibility means more anime for existing fans to enjoy, as well as easier exposure to the genre for new fans.
Millennials and older Gen Zs who grew up with anime now have the purchasing power to indulge in their passion points. Brands looking to engage and stay relevant with younger consumers are leveraging anime and the sense of nostalgia surrounding it.
Accessibility of content, growth in collaborations with mainstream brands (including luxury labels!) and an increasing appreciation for anime as a sophisticated medium for art, storytelling and social commentary are helping shift perspectives around the genre, propelling it from niche to norm.
For a full deep dive into each growth driver, download the full report
Want to harness the power of anime?
First, identify your brand’s key reason for entering the space. This will help ensure your brand activations are genuine enough to resonate with fans and add real value.
Some suggestions to get you thinking:
Can you make it easier for both new and existing fans to access anime? That includes new distribution channels and practical shortcut solutions.
For brands outside the entertainment industry, collaborating with existing anime franchises offers an opportunity to connect with fans, while giving fans a new way to enjoy anime. Win-win!
Celebrate fandom with IRL events (exhibitions, festivals and more!): they’re a chance for the community to connect and further legitimize the genre. Or consider how your brand might help fans participate in their passion points in new ways.
Could your brand help the sector grow by uplifting and investing in existing or aspiring anime creators? That could mean launching animator academies, creating spaces where anime creators can connect or developing practical tools.
Content, IP and products that take inspiration from anime while highlighting local culture. This is an important opportunity white space in SEA due to the growing demand for more diversity and representation, and consumers who want content that remixes global culture with local heritage.
Netflix x Trese
Adapted from a Filipino comic and filled with kapres and aswangs, Trese was the first Southeast Asian anime-influenced series to debut on Netflix. The six-part series made it to number one on Netflix’s most-watched list in the Philippines.
Kakao Webtoon x Nan Sathida Prompiriya
Released in 2022, Kakao Webtoon’s Love Destiny included a soundtrack by Thai artist Nan Sathida Prompiriya. The song was used in a TikTok challenge featuring Love Destiny webtoon characters, reaching over 38 million unique users.
Deep dive into all four brand opportunities in the full report.
Summarizing the Anime Impact
Three key takeaway points for you to share with your team, bring to your next innovation session, or create your next big brand initiative around:
YOUR CULTURE MARKETING STRATEGY
Anime has a broader mainstream cultural appeal among a wider group of people than most marketers would intuitively expect. It presents just as big an opportunity for your next cultural marketing strategy as other well-activated consumer passion points do.
YOUR BRAND ROLE
To harness anime, first identify your brand’s authentic role in the space. Could you be a(n) Enabler, Facilitator, Celebrant, and/or Cultivator?
YOUR ACTIVATION OPPORTUNITIES
- Remix Culture through offerings that fuse anime inspiration and local heritage in new ways
- Create Collectibles through anime collaborations that elevate your products
- Harness Characters to convey your message and bring your consumers’ favorite IPs to life
- Rally Community by inviting anime fans to partner on your next big project
Whichever route you take – remember to respect the genre and its fans. How will you genuinely add value to anime fans and communities, while building your brand and reaching new audiences?
If you’re keen to understand how your brand can harness the cultural power of anime, we are here to help. Drop us a note at email@example.com and let’s chat.
Download your complimentary copy of Culture Drop: The Anime Impact now.
It takes a village to put together a publication. A special thanks to all the wonderful Culture Group partners and friends who have contributed to this Culture Drop:
ampd is a leading insights platform that revolutionizes the way brands understand their customers. Since 2019, we have been providing invaluable behavioral insights to the media, entertainment, telecommunications, advertising, and FMCG industries. Our extensive customer panels spanning 14 countries in APAC and Europe, along with our proprietary technology, offer brands a one-of-a-kind understanding of real customer behavior. Through our diverse product offerings, we uncover what today’s digital consumers are doing, why they do it, and how brands can effectively engage with them.
VoyceMe is the first social creator platform for manga, webtoons, and webnovels, based out of New York and available globally. The platform helps creators enter the space, and connects people who have story ideas with artists and writers. It also encourages social interaction among fans and authors through voting, co-creation and more.