Anime Reviews writes: "The common belief (that is not always correct) is that Japanese studios don’t really take the Western audience into consideration while making a show, focusing instead on maximizing the sales of that show in Japan. The Japanese market is the one that fuels the anime economy. That’s a fact. But what will you say if I told you that even though the anime industry is firmly based around the Japanese consumer more people buy copies of anime series in the West than in Japan?"
Sounds believable enough, you could pick up the whole blu-ray set of a new series, sometimes ones as large as 24 episodes as soon as it comes out for like... $36 thanks to the sales Rightstuf and Amazon usually have on the products. $36 wouldn't even be enough to buy 2 episodes of an anime in Japan usually.
The US is like 30 times bigger than Japan!
"Basically anime is usually made to promote the manga/visual novel/light novel that spawned it."
Basically why I don't really watch anime anymore...
Though I still like it, I prefer manga much more
edit: Though I do check if the manga is an adaptation as well...
When I had access to numbers, DBZ was the only mega series in the North American anime world.
Most releases have a print run of about 3200-4000 BD and about 5700 DVD's although they don't sell anywhere near that usually I can think of off the top of my head. The Evangelion BD getting a print run of 15,000 BD's and more than that on DVD (I think it was like 17,000) and it went thru the BD print run, to contrast that Star Child sold 449,000+(On Just Blu-Ray, the DVD was somewhere around 372,000). Dragon Ball sells more in North America(USA+Canada) than in Japan, but it really depends on the series.
The promotional aspect differs on who is on the production committee also like Aniplex produces anime to promote their artists (Aniplex is a subsidiary Of Sony Music Entertainment), MOVIC (a subsidiary of the Animate Group) for example is used to sell character goods like plushies and bookmarks and such, then there could be companies like ASCII Media Works(subsidiary of Kadokawa Shoten) who in it to sell light novels or manga, Generally promotion for VN or LN is used when the game company is actually on the production committee like Nitro+ and Fate/Zero, or the distributor knows that the anime project will sell because of a gigantic following for said product.
What I find surprising is that the producers & creators of anime content haven't cobbled together a Netflix like solution before Crunchyroll became monetized.
It isn't immediately obvious to most US anime viewers. But in Japan advertisements are relied heavily upon, so much in-fact that they even leak into episodes. 24 minutes of show time doesn't leave for a lot of room ads either.IMO