MyAnimeList Business Model and SWOT Analysis – How Does MyAnimeList Make Money

Overview

The company under analysis is the leading social network for anime fans from all over the world. It is primarily a database for social cataloging. Fans head towards MyAnimeList to watch anime, for which the site links out to anime streaming sites, for instance, CrunchyRoll.

One of the most popular things about MyAnimeList is its listing feature through which fans can track their own anime watchlists. Users have different things to say about what they use MyAnimeList the most.

Generally, the site is used for maintaining a record of how far a viewer has reached in a manga or anime. It is also used to keep track of what people have read and what haven’t. Moreover, MAL is a tool to get suggestions and to search for new anime.

Another prominent feature of the company is that various anime fans from different countries come to the site to find and chat with like-minded people. People love to give their opinion on trends.

Apart from staying organized, MAL is letting people know what anime seasonal show is rated high or suddenly gets a spike in rating. It enables the fans to keep in the loop on all the newly released anime and finding similar users and the community.

Putting it together, MyAnimeList is a Japanese anime and manga enthusiasts’ community for the English-speaking world.

Company Profile

Company NameMyAnimeList (MAL)
Websitemyanimelist.net
Founded2004
FounderGarrett Gyssler
Key PeopleGarrett Gyssler – Senior Software Engineer, Atsushi (Mizo) Mizoguchi – CEO, Tetsuya Okamura -Director
HeadquartersSan Diego, CA 92121, US
Company TypePrivately held
Revenue<$5 million
Key CompetitorsAnime-Planet Inc, Iconosquare, Sprout Social Inc, Unmetric, AgoraPulse, Socialbakers, Curalate

What is MyAnimeList? A Brief History

The name of the company is also referred to as MAL. It is basically an anime/manga social networking and cataloging application site that is operated by volunteers. The website provides its users the opportunity of staying organized by keeping track of anime they have watched, read or plan to watch or read.

Garrett Gyssler launched the website in 2004 and maintained it alone till 2008. The site was previously named as AnimeList and was later renamed as MyAnimeList. The name was inspired by a popular social network of that time, Myspace.

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In 2008, CraveOnline bought the website for an undisclosed amount. If you didn’t know, CraveOnline is an entertainment and lifestyle website for men and is owned by AtomicOnline.

In 2015, DeNA made the announcement of being the next buyer of MyAnimeList. They told the fans that they would collaborate with Anime Consortium Japan to stream anime on the website through Daisuki.

It was not until 2016 that MyAnimeList announced to embed over 20,000 episodes from Crunchyroll and Hulu. These episodes were made directly available on the website to watch.

In 2018, the website came up with another update. This time it was an online manga store opened in collaboration with Kodansha Comics and Viz Media. Manga store allows the users to buy manga digitally from MyAnimeList. The feature was initially exclusive for Canadian users and later reached the United States, the United Kingdom, and the other English-speaking world.

Later that year, MyAnimeList became totally unavailable for several days, for which the following reasons were given:

  • Site maintenance
  • Citing security
  • Privacy concerns

Apart from that, the operators also disabled the API for third-party apps. All these steps were taken as an effort to abide by the European Union’s GDPR program.

At the start of 2019, Media Do purchased MyAnimeList and let the fans know about their plans to work on marketing and e-book sales in order to strengthen the website.

Later in 2019, MyAnimeList announced a partnership with HIDIVE. The collaborative efforts brought MAL’s content ratings into HIDIVE’s streaming platform. The best part was the exclusive offer for the MAL users that they would not have to pay for the curated selection of embedded HIDIVE content.

How Does MyAnimeList Work and What Does it offer?

Here are some guides and curiosities related to MAL. How does MAL work, and how useful can it be? Read on.

What does MyAnimeList offer?

As per the website’s own claims, MyAnimeList is the world’s largest anime and manga database and community. A significant portion of the information available on the website is user-generated. The data includes scores, reviews, synopsis, and the list of characters in the respective anime.

Since the score is user-generated, it gives a clear impression of the quality and popularity of a given episode or series.

Did you know that MyAnimeList is also referred to as a “bad intimate”?

Well, there is a lot more to how things work on the website and how the users have been benefitting from it. MAL users can search for anime by genre and popularity. The website also talks about the lists of manga, the voice actors, and the authors of the episode.

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MyAnimeList is often considered to be exclusive to English-speaking countries, but it is equally user-friendly for non-English speakers. Here are some of the ways you can use MAL if you don’t have English knowledge:

  • Use the translator in the google chrome
  • Use an extension if you use another browser
  • Browse the site in English

How to get started with MyAnimeList?

To get started with MyAnimeList, you must register yourself to the site. Head over to the official website, and you will find “Sign Up” in the upper left corner. Click on it to register your email or any social network underuse.

It is important to remember that the URL link of your MyAnimeList will be your Login ID, so it is recommended to insert something easy to remember. You can share your list with your friends too. Once the registration process is completed and confirmed, you can get started with watching and adding your anime to your personal list and share it with friends.

The website has so much content that you can get lost in the variety. The easier way to remember the anime you have watched or read is to search for the top-ranking or the most popular episodes and then mark them as watched after you are done.

The process is straightforward. Simply click on the “Top Anime” available on the website, or you can separate the anime movies by opting for “Top TV Series.” This step is crucial because it otherwise becomes too difficult to remember the ones one has watched. Upon clicking on “Add to List,” you will be left with a bunch of options. Let’s get to it.

What does status refer to in MyAnimeList?

You get to know whether you have watched a particular anime and so much more.

  • Watching: you are watching the episode
  • Completed: you have watched everything
  • On-hold: this refers to the waiting or paused list
  • Dropped: you have stopped watching
  • Plan to watch: you plan to watch the anime

MyAnimeList users get to score on a scale from 1 to 10. There is an option, “show advanced,” to provide you with more details about the stage you are at.

MyAnimeList Business Model

MyAnimeList works on the subscription business model. Upon looking at some of the comments from MAL users, we can say that it is convenient, and the quality is also up to the mark. Some people find it better to pay one fee than to have several monthly payments.

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Nevertheless, MyAnimeList is a popular website worldwide and attracts tones of customers each year.

If MAL is hoping to increase the revenue, here are a couple of things they can diversify. The first one is the affiliate links. The second option is to display ads.

Did you know that the website of MyAnimeList is worth $196,000,000?

How Does MyAnimeList Make Money?

MyAnimeList earns money through subscriptions and partnerships. As for the amount, we don’t have an exact figure, but a rough calculation can indeed be done.

As a matter of fact, the website garners 150 million page reviews every month from 12 million unique visitors. From traffic estimation, we can come up with a number to tell about the website’s revenue.

So, the website gets an average of 3,596,000 visits in a day with 17,979,675 page views per day. This makes the average number of visits in a month 107,8880,000, while the monthly page views stand at 539,390,350.

So, the estimate revenue becomes $53,938 for a day, $1,618,140 for a month and $19,417,680 for a year.

SWOT Analysis of MyAnimeList

Let’s analyze MyAnimeList based on the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.

Strengths

  • Apart from providing an extensive collection the fan-favorite anime, the website also curates a comprehensive manga database.
  • The website is worth a whopping $196,000,000
  • As we write, MyAnimeList ranks 904 in the Alexa Global Rank out of some 30,000,000 or even greater number of websites
  • MyAnimeList is 87% worth of web rank
  • MyAnimeList is the world’s largest anime and manga database and community
  • The site has an impressive Commercepedia Maturity Score of 78/100 with 96/100 of the Website Traffic Maturity
  • A crucial aspect of MAL is that most people use it, and the popularity of the site then attracts even more users
  • MAL’s retro designs and forums are better appreciated than the like/follower systems at other sites

Weaknesses

  • There is no option to remove or disable the statistics panel from the user’s profile, and so there is a need to create a better web interface
  • Anime that are aired only a few episodes (lesser than 50) are also ranked in the top 100 or 200 list. If this happens, people will forget the older anime while watching the new ones with higher ratings
  • The overall UI does not look modern

Threats

  • People have started to discuss why long-running anime is dying as a business model
  • Competitors like Iconosquare and Sprout Social Inc have already hit higher revenue digits
  • The extensive tagging system in MAL gets in the way while users try to find similar anime

Opportunities

  • The website owners can increase the revenue by bringing diversification within the affiliate links. It is a better option to try various affiliate programs simultaneously than to stick with one only
  • Another way is to display ads near the affiliate links
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