The chief editior of AnimeAnimeJapan reported the recent trend of the anime business. Bandai Visual's decision not to air Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
on TV showed their determination to abandon the conventional strategy for the promotion of anime. The combination of the old media (theater release) with the new media (online streaming) is their solution to overcome the decline of the anime media sales.
The midnight broadcastings have been playing a indispensable role for the promotion of anime since 1990's. However, it's obscure that such late night programs have any appeal to the first time viewers. Moreover, the large amount of the programming fees paid to the TV companies has been a great burden to the anime producers. In 2000's, anime producers tried online streaming as an alternative to TV broadcasting but only saw the failures of Night Head Genesis
, Wings of Rean
, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto
, and Xam'd: Lost Memories
. They reconfirmed the power of TV to reach the audience.
In 2008, the miraculous success of Kara no Kyoukai
astonished the anime producers. The limited theater release of OVA brought about enormous profits, which well exceeded those of the major TV series. Kara no Kyoukai created a festival-like atmosphere among the audience and it was sublimated into a sense of unity. The purchase of DVD was regarded as a sort of "certificate" of the participation in the festival.
The strategy of Gundam UC is surely intended to follow Kara no Kyoukai phenomenon. Anime producers shake off TV broadcasting and try to rebuild a new business model by shuffling the order of theater release, online streaming and Blu-ray & DVD release. Nobody knows the answer, yet.