Nowadays the presence of female fans in this market is growing. Not only in companies aimed at a female audience such as Sanrio, but also in subcultures whose markets have been mostly aimed towards male audiences for a long time, such as shonen manga, etc. Why are female fans entering the spotlight in recent years? Comparing different kinds of data, we will explore the connection between subcultures and female fans.
■Trend analysis of popular brands
Graph 1 shows the ratio of gender disparity in fans of recent hit brands. We see that even series which have been packaged specifically for boys are gaining a lot of female fans. It gives us the impression that the ratios are reaching a balance, despite still being slanted towards men.
If we look at how much these fans consume we get the results shown in graphs 2 and 3. Female fans buy more “related merchandize” than male fans, and they “speak about these products online” more than the male fans do. In brief, male fans buy more “actual original works (in this case, comic books)”, and they “share these around with others”. In this aspect, male fans make a stronger influence.
The animation business is very tough due to how often its earnings models change. In the ’90s, when OVAs reached the height of their prosperity, package businesses made good earnings. But now in the ’00s the earnings of these package businesses are diminishing. These days, important earnings come from the sale of anime character merchandise, or from events. The growing importance of this expansion towards merchandise is becoming an indispensable aspect of all content businesses.
And the role which social networks play in this, as well as the importance of word-of-mouth, is all growing also. The contribution which word-of-mouth plays is very high, since it spreads information about brands and mobilizes people towards events. In this aspect, the approach of female fans is becoming very important.
These female fans give support to female culture. I think their presence in the entertainment market is going to grow even more.
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(Article by: Kenichi Nakamura)
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.