According to the Association of Japanese Animations, the sales of the anime video media in Japan have increased for the first time in five years while the number of TV anime titles has been dropping since 2007. The recovery of the video media sales is attributed to the successful transition of the anime market to Blu-ray, which is more expensive than DVD.
Mainichi Newspaper reported that the Blu-ray sales are vital for the success of core-fan oriented anime, which are usually aired after midnight. One of the major anime producers said "Even if the rating of a midnight anime marks 10%, it's doesn't matter for us." Another producer said a TV anime can be regarded as a hit if sales per volume are more than 10,000 copies. dtshyk: this "10,000 copies" means the sales to the retailers, not to the individual customers.
Recent Major Hit Titles
Blu-ray 42,625 (DVD 10,326)
Blu-ray 27,052 (DVD 13,390)
Blu-ray 58,098 (DVD 23,234)
Blu-ray 38,452 (DVD 3,981)
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Blu-ray 21,911 (DVD 5,093)
IS: Infinite Stratos
Blu-ray 27,064 (DVD 9,068)
Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
Blu-ray 52,944 (DVD 9,097)
One volume of TV anime Blu-ray usually costs 5,000 - 7,000 yen ($62 - $88) for two or three episodes. If you collect all the volumes of one season, it will be around $400 - $500. The high purchasing power of core anime fans has been supporting the TV anime market.
Sudo Tadashi, the president of Anime!Anime!, said TV anime produced by popular anime studios like SHAFT and Kyoto Animation sell well because the Blu-rays of their anime are not simple video media but communication tools among the fans. The TV airing of such anime arouses enthusiasm among the audience and stimulates energetic discussions online. People purchase the Blu-ray as a souvenir of the whole excitements.