Anime Kingdom: OTT Platforms Invest to Attract Youth

Anime content is becoming a key focus for over-the-top (OTT) platforms in India. As schools and colleges enter summer vacation, these platforms are following traditional TV models by offering diverse content that appeals to various age groups and demographics.

India’s anime fan base is rapidly growing, with 180 million fans making it a significant market for anime content, second only to China. The global popularity of anime, which originates from Japan, continues to rise.

According to US-based Grand View Research, the anime market in India is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% from 2024 to 2030. This growth is driven by Japanese pop culture, global media exposure, and demand from millennials and Gen Z. Globally, the anime market was valued at $31.2 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% from 2024 to 2030.

Experts highlight that anime offers OTT platforms a chance to attract teens and young adults aged 12-24. “Anime is globally popular among early teens. There is very little content for this age group,” said Uday Sodhi, senior partner at digital strategy consulting firm Kurate Digital Consulting. “OTT platforms need to start seriously looking at anime content.”

Sony Group Corporation’s Crunchyroll, dedicated to anime content, established a wholly-owned subsidiary in India last year with an initial investment of $10 million. Crunchyroll offers over 800 anime titles in India with 8,000 hours of content, including 70 shows dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Globally, Crunchyroll has 13 million paid subscribers.

Prime Video Channels, the OTT aggregation arm of Prime Video, launched Animax + Gem and Anime Times last year to cater to India’s growing anime audience.

Recently, JioCinema introduced a dedicated Anime Hub as part of its premium offering priced at ₹29 per month. This platform provides real-time global releases and a library of top anime titles.

A JioCinema spokesperson noted, “Anime’s popularity has significantly grown in India over the past few years, attracting a considerable fan base due to its captivating storytelling and visually striking animation.”

Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix also have substantial anime libraries, and other OTT platforms are expected to explore anime content due to its potential.

In an earlier interview with ET, Crunchyroll president Rahul Purini mentioned that India is the second-largest anime market after China and is growing rapidly. “In the regions where we are present, India has the largest potential audience. We expect 60% of the global anime growth to come from India,” he said.

Purini also stated that 53 million Indians watch anime content from official sources, with the audience split 60:40 between males and females.

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