Quick recap: I’m taking a look at various no-cost indicators of popularity for anime and their related goods. First, I’m checking how well they correspond to disk sales by checking whether different applications of that statistic beat the null “every v1 will sell less than 4000 disks” accuracy criterion for a given season (66% for Fall, 59% for Summer). Later I’ll check how well these indicators corresponded to boosts in manga/LN source popularity (for works that were originally LN/manga), to contrast their predictive abilities at both high-cost and low-cost levels of interest.
Google traffic offers a neat and fairly intuitive, if sometimes difficult to standardize, way of checking the popularity of shows, but it needs to be tested as much as any other stat. If you want to see the google data this check is based off of, it’s here. The doc where the checks were calculated is here, and the checks themselves are summarized below (numbers beating the null hypothesis shown in green):
While top 5 rankings bested the null hypotheses across the board, other more inclusive checks took a little while longer to become precise. It’s possible that that’s just some imperfections of the indicator showing, or that Summer saw more fluctuation in interest as the season wore on than Fall did.
I’m going to be doing the over/under 4k v1 data for Summer 2013 before I take a look at how the various indicators stacked up against source material boosts for manga/LN adaptations. The rationale there is that it’d be good to have at least two independent sets of data to crunch before I start getting tempted to draw too-sweeping conclusions from one set that don’t hold up as well over the long haul.
Anyway, here are the normalized monthly google trends traffic results for the Summer 2013 anime with v1 data I’m going to be looking at. It’s similar to the fall data, except now normalized to the term “Summer 2013 Anime” in July instead of the term “Fall 2013 Anime” in October (though believe it or not, the ratio is 1:1 for this particular pair). The list of queries I used to get this data (for both Japanese and Romanized franchise titles) is on this doc, and is shown below.
*Japanese and Romanized titles are the same.
**Japanese search term is “Free!” (largest volume does come from Japan over the Summer season), Romanized search term is “Iwatobi Swim Club”. Turns out a lot of people want free things on the internet.
***Took the best of long and abbreviated titles (eg Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu, C3-bu) because many results weren’t showing up at all. Turned out it didn’t make a ton of difference. That and Kanetsugu to Keiji had the only Japanese results out of either season examined to not crack 0.10.
Continuing on my series of disk-sales predictor checks, I’m checking whether google search traffic for Fall 2013 series’ Japanese and Romanized titles did a decent job with their eventual v1 disk sales with a simple over/under accuracy check for the top 5, 10, and 15 series each month. Results are shown below (accuracies better than the null hypothesis in green):
Google traffic seems to be be a fairly strong indicator of disk sales, especially in December, where the top-10 check achieved the highest accuracy of any metric to date. That’s a very positive sign for the metric; I was actually expecting it to be more indicative of casual manga/LN-sales interest. We’ll see how it ultimately does there when I get the sales bump data together in a couple weeks.
A big part of my goal is to take a look at existing numbers and see what can be gleaned from them, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a stab at collecting new metrics. This post is just a summary of one rarely-used metric I’m curious in gauging the efficacy of, normalized google traffic, for anime aired in the Fall 2013 season.
Why check google traffic? It’s not complicated; most people with access to anime have access to the internet. And most people with access to the internet end up using search engines a lot. So you can (theoretically) get a good first-order approximation of how much relative interest an anime has generated by checking its search traffic volume against some other predetermined total (the volume of the term “Fall 2013 Anime” for the month of October is used here). By using volume for both the original Japanese and Romanized titles, it’s possible to parse the traffic in Japan versus the rest of the world. Show data is found on this doc, and listed after the break for the 38 Fall 2013 shows whose v1 data I’ve been using in predictive tests.
I keep forgetting google trends is a thing. It occurred to me that there’s a really basic stat available to measure an anime’s $0 popularity level. I’ve been tossing around the idea of trying to tinker up an effective way of displaying variance anime fanbase size by cost, and how much google search traffic it generates is likely a pretty good approximation of the lowest possible end of that. I searched the spring anime which have aired thus far (via mal, skipping the shows with 2000 members or less) on global google trends in both their official Japanese and Romanized titles, normalized against the term “Spring 2014 Anime”.
Obvious caveat – some of these series go by alternate titles, so the romanized search traffic may not be all of it.
Also, somewhat unexpectedly, series like Baby Steps and Black Bullet with full-English titles still see peak traffic this month. I guess phrases have to be pretty popular to beat out kids looking for free streams of anime. Love Live still seems fairly inflated, though (considering how much of its English title traffic was the same pre-2012).