The Business of Animation Looks Rosy

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People love animation. In fact, people love animation so much that it's a $254 billion industry! In fact, it's due to grow 6% over the next two years to $270 billion, according to a new report from Research and Markets. It covers animation, visual effects, and games around the globe. While the lengthy report is stuck behind a paywall, several of its key findings are available to view. Here are some quick highlights, and some thoughts about them:

  • VFX Growth: Audiences are watching films and movies — Infinity War is due to cross the billion dollar mark after only a week! According to the report, audiences are looking for more "engaging visual effects and realistic animation." As a result, most productions are spending 20-25% of their budgets on the effects. With film budgets now hitting $300 million or more, that's a lot of money being spent on animation! People are looking for more spectacle, the kind of spectacle that only animated effects can create.
  • Streaming: Audiences are continuing their drift over to streaming platforms. Netflix and Amazon, as well as Facebook and YouTube, are becoming an important channel for animators to consider. In 2017, streaming animation was worth in $2.4 billion, but is growing fast at eight percent a year. More and more major studios are hopping onto streaming services, especially the Walt Disney Company. Especially as more and more people worldwide get connected to faster internet, streamed video content will become even more popular.
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  • Video Games: Video games alone were worth $92 billion in 2017. New services are allowing publishers to better analyze players and tweak their games to maximize satisfaction. The report also mentions "availability of low cost micro-payment systems" for digital content, calling them "the key for online games market to grow." This part should be taken with a grain of salt, though, considering recent controversies over microtransactions. Some countries have placed restrictions or even outright bans on these microtransactions, and a few states are considering doing the same. 
  • ESports: Connected with video games is the continuing rise of eSports tournaments, which feature players competing at huge events. The report mentions that the industry is growing at a massive rate of thirty percent annually, and will be worth a billion dollars next year. With spectators and fans flooding these events, eSports may very well dramatically change the culture of gaming and how it's seen — and embraced — by the general public. That means a changing market, and potentially even more room for growth and expansion.

These are just some key points to be found in the report, but there's so much more to unpack. One thing is for certain though: animation as an industry continues to be strong and vibrant, with lots of new opportunities in the near future!


Eric Miller Animation Studios is dedicated to crafting heartfelt stories and compelling visuals through 3D computer graphics, offering design and VFX for advertising, gaming, TV & film production.  We work with the best animation talent in the industry to deliver visually stunning imagery. Big or small, we can bring any character or story to life.