Impact of Piracy on the Anime Industry in the United States
Category: Social Science
Abstract – Anime consumption in the United States has been deeply connected to piracy since the 1990s, when anime first began to gain traction outside of Japan. American audiences found accessing specific anime very difficult during the early days of anime in the United States. In many cases, piracy was the easiest – and sometimes the only – method available to American fans for watching a certain anime. This lack of access initiated what became a culture of piracy among anime fans in the United States. Even after official releases of anime became widely accessible to American audiences, piracy remains the norm among American fans, and continues to affect the industry to this day. This study takes the approach of an historical analysis as well as a comparative and contrasting analysis of the American and Japanese responses to a survey related to anime piracy. Findings in this study showcase the effects of piracy on the anime industry, and demonstrate that because of the United States’ history with piracy and anime, United States anime fans are more likely to pirate than Japanese anime fans.