Just how popular is anime in Singapore – and related merchandise and events?

Just how popular is anime in Singapore – and related merchandise and events?

Anime (アニメ) – the Japanese style of video animation – is growing in popularity worldwide.  

Last year, half of Netflix’s 222 million subscribers worldwide used the streaming service to watch anime, while total anime watching time on the platform globally increased by 20% year-on-year. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures acquired anime streaming service Crunchyroll for US$1.175 billion in August 2021.  

But how popular is anime in Singapore – where 45% of the population say they stream videos, movies, TV shows and other media over the internet, according to April 2022 data from YouGov Profiles? What is the proportion of anime watchers who purchase anime merchandise, visit anime-themed business establishments, and participate in ticketed anime conventions?  

How widely and regularly is anime watched in Singapore? 

Latest research from YouGov RealTime Omnibus, as of March 2022, found that over half of adults in Singapore (52%) have watched anime at least once. And among the 48% who have not, more than one-fifth (21%) say they would consider watching anime in the future, while over three-quarters (79%) ruled this out. 

Among adults in Singapore who have watched anime before, just under one in six (15%) say they watch anime regularly. We will refer to this group as “frequent watchers”.  

Almost half (48%) are selective watchers of anime titles that they find particularly interesting, 10% are by-invitation watchers of anime titles recommended to them, while 3% are seasonal watchers of anime only during certain periods of the year (e.g. spring/summer anime releases). Collectively, we will refer to this group as “casual watchers”.  

Additionally, over one-fifth (22%) are retired watchers – those who have presently stopped watching anime, i.e. “non-current watchers”.

Among frequent watchers, four in five (80%) watch anime one or more times a week, while more than a quarter (28%) watch anime every day. Meanwhile, one in five (20%) watch anime one or more times a month.

What are the most-liked anime genres in Singapore? 

Across both frequent and casual watchers of anime, the three most-liked genres are: Action, Adventure and Comedy. 

Action anime is the top favourite of more than half of frequent watchers (53%) and a third of casual watchers (33%). Adventure anime is also enjoyed by more than two-fifths (43%) of frequent watchers and under a third of casual watchers (30%), while Comedy anime is enjoyed by more than one-third of frequent watchers (35%) and over a quarter of casual watchers (28%). 

However, the next two most-liked genres among frequent watchers are Fantasy (28%), Supernatural (25%), whereas among casual watchers Psychological (19%) and Fantasy (18%) round up the top five.  

What proportion of anime-watchers participate in anime-related commercial activities? 

Before COVID-19, almost half (49%) of frequent anime-watchers shopped for official and fan-made anime merchandise, while almost three in five (58%) visited anime conventions (e.g. Anime Festival Asia) and anime-themed business establishments, such as F&B outlets (e.g. Aniplus Café which collaborated with the Genshin Impact anime franchise). 

But in the past year, since COVID-19 broke out, the proportion of frequent anime-watchers who have shopped for anime merchandise has fallen by 19% to less than one in three (30%), while the share of those who have visited anime-themed business establishments and events has plunged by 35% to less than one in four (23%). 

Among casual anime watchers, close to two-fifths (38%) shopped for official and fan-made anime merchandise pre-COVID, while around one-third (34%) visited anime conventions and anime-themed business establishments.  

Since COVID-19 broke out, in the past year, the proportion of casual anime watchers who have shopped for anime merchandise has fallen by 19% to just under one in five (19%), while those who have visited anime-themed business establishments and events has dropped by 20%.

Methodology: YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 24 March 2022, with a nationally representative sample of 1,031 adults in Singapore (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender and ethnicity to be representative of all adults residing in Singapore (18 years or older) and reflect the latest Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) estimates. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.  

YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Singapore is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender and race. Learn more about YouGov Profiles.