The first article ever posted on the Hubtaku website was a piece meant to define what it means to be an anime fan. There’s more to anime than just, well anime, and it’s our goal to highlight the community and creators within who are shaking up the industry. Community Meets Industry is a new Hubtaku section where we discuss the businesses and new content that have been birthed and inspired by anime without necessarily being anime itself. One of the biggest growing sectors of content creation are anime podcasts, and I had the opportunity to discuss with Black Anime Podcasts just how much this industry has developed and where they see it going in the future.

To understand where we are now, I needed to understand where it all began. One of the first questions I asked Black Anime Podcasts was how exactly did this industry become so popular? Where did it come from and why was there a need or desire for it in the first place. The answer they gave was quite simple. “That’s easy! Anime World Order. They have been running since 2005 and are without a doubt the first show that comes to mind when someone mentions the words ‘Anime Podcast’”. That group also helped to grow the industry of black anime podcasts too, as one of the hosts of the show, Daryl Surat, is a man of color himself. Even with him paving the way however, there was still a gap in terms of having black voices and perspective when it came to speaking on anime. This is actually why Black Anime Podcasts was born.

“So my interest in starting the website was primarily born out of just how monochromatic western anime fandom and by extension the anime podcasting scene were and quite frankly still are. I wanted to listen to podcasts about my favorite medium, hosted by my skinfolk.”

And thus the podcasting industry began to blossom. People loved hearing other people talk about anime as much as they enjoyed watching it. Whether it was youtube, spotify, or apple pods, anime fans flocked to hear the opinions of strangers on the internet, and more importantly to hear the opinions of those who look and sound like them. “To see so many Black Creatives find a way in which to truly express themselves and talk about their favorite pop culture medium over the past couple of years, has been nothing short of amazing. I’d like to think that the podcasts they have discovered via my website have provided them with inspiration to start their own shows and find their own unique podcast format and sound.” 

Personally, I think the most beautiful part of anime podcasting is how it creates community. The only part more fun than watching your favorite anime is talking to other people about your favorite anime. Listening to other people’s theories, opinions, ratings, and all manner of thought is exciting. We as humans love to see people enjoy the things we enjoy so its natural to want that to. Ash of Black Anime Podcasts agrees. “I feel that podcasts have an incredibly important place in the Black Anime content creation space. Podcasts are undoubtedly the talk radio of the digital age, allowing creators an unfettered means by which they can broadcast thoughts, feelings, discourse and streams of consciousness about their favorite medium, across the internet and directly to the ears of anyone that will listen. It cannot be understated how powerful this is.”

Anime podcasting is definitely a massively growing, important and popular industry, and seeing black content creators getting involved and participating is pleasing to see. The most difficult aspect of podcasting though, is making it a revenue generating endeavor. Usually a podcaster needs to average around ten thousand downloads per episode just to make somewhere between five hundred and nine hundred dollars. Being that most podcasts are groups of people and not one person this income is then split. This has been a challenge in the community, as getting that much outreach is not easy but they still continue to press on. “There is definitely space for Anime Podcasts, especially ones with Black hosts, to become commercially viable. Whether that is through an advertising model, attracting a large following and selling voluminous amounts of branded merchandise, through Patreon or attracting a corporate backer, like Crunchyroll, remains to be seen.” 

All in all, Anime podcasts are a huge part of the anime community, and we do not expect them to go anywhere anytime soon. More and more are showing up, with each one being different from the last and looking for ways to capitalize on their outreach and grow a following around their brand. “I think that Anime Podcasting will continue on its upward trajectory, both commercially and in terms of cultural impact. I’m hopeful that this bright future will be spearheaded by Black, Asian and Indigenous voices, as opposed to the same old monochromatic ones of Anime Podcasting’s past and current present.” If you want to find an anime podcast for you, please check out Black Anime Podcasts.

Their website has a huge directory of anime podcasts headed by black content creators as well as having their own merchandise. Their work in the community cannot be understated and having them as one of our partners is amazing. Please check out their links here, and as always, thanks for making us your otaku hub!