Anime piracy is bad for the anime industry because the anime industry price itself higher than the price most people accepts
The price for legal content would include payment to the service provider and content provider. Meanwhile for pirated content, one only needs to pay for the service provider. While it is highly likely that the legal service provider is making less and taking higher risks, they actually are making less than the piracy providers. It is all because the content provider or those who represent the content provider are asking for too much.
This mentality of the anime industry is actually what’s hurting them. Not only it made the service provider less competent, but it also discourage the writer from continuously providing good works. One writer, one big hit and that is it. They would make so much money that it is not necessary to create new content anymore. This is not all the case, but it happens quite often.
The piracy industry is only exploiting this weakness the anime industry had for all these years.
Well, I would say, that while it is true that piracy may hurt the future prospects of the growing anime industry outside japan, it is actually what made the anime industry as big as it is in the first place.
In Japan, people watch anime legally, on tv and on streaming platforms, because these people have always been the target group for anime producers, and they have been the sole target, the producers had no interest in bringing those titles to the ‘outside world’ until recently.
As Japanese people started to spread through the world they also brought their animes with them, in the form of fan-subbing anime and spreading it around as a culture.
In most countries outside Japan, there are people who watch anime only because it was brought there by pirating, in Brazil, for example, there are about 3 million people watching anime daily on pirate websites and that number has grown from 0 to 3 million since the 2000s. Those 3 million people watch anime not for the Japanese producer’s effort, but for the ‘pirating’ that has happened for all that time.
Most of the fansubber’s work is almost profitless and has been done out of love, it is not like they are sucking in the supposed billionaire profits that the anime industry is ‘losing’(which would not even exist without their efforts). You can get almost any ‘illegal’ subbed anime episode and it will usually have a warning that that work is non-profit and that it is illegal to sell or rent that content.
Now, all these people, who watch anime illegally are fans of the works and many buy novels, manga and action figures, so indirectly pirating actually boosts the sales of novels, manga and action figures all around the world, 90% of the countries are places that would not have even heard of anime otherwise.
So is pirating actually hurting the anime industry? I could argue that it actually boosted the anime industry a lot. The issue is that now, producers are able to see how bigger their profits could be only if they had broadcast their works around the world. Then after seeing how many fans they have, they try to enter the new market, but! that market is already dominated by the people who created those fans in the first place, so now they are angry.
“This is my work, you can’t keep me from profiting from it, these are MY fans!”
This is a totally understandable point of view, it is the creator’s right to profit from what they have created, what it is not recognized is that, as said previously, they are already profiting from it in the form of the sales of everything else related to anime. Also, many anime are actually only advertising for games and toys, so pirating actually boosts that advertising.
Now, what would be awesome, and very, very profitable, would be if all anime studios united to create a streaming platform with worldwide access and subs in all major languages, launching the works as they aired, nothing would make anime producers richer than this. There could be plenty of monetizing strategies, such as, “simple subscription”, “pay for show access”(as if you were buying a digital blu-ray box of that anime), or even ads.
Seriously, I can’t really understand how this never came to be, there must be something seriously wrong in Japan that is keeping this from happening.
I imagine, that the issue, must be, that they sell the anime as “a package”, to the companies that want to broadcast it, and those companies ask that only they can have the package, crippling any possibility of ‘selling’ the anime to bigger audiences. Unless they come up with a new business model, they will never be able to outrun piracy.