The Association of Japanese Animations (AJA), the anime industry group based in Japan, reported that worldwide anime sales reached 239.6745 billion yen (about US$2.26 billion) in 2007.
That represents a 7.4% decline from 2006's 258.7 billion yen (US$2.41 billion), and it also represents the first decline in sales since the group's first sales report in 2002.
AJA attributed most of the decline to falling numbers for television anime.
Television anime earned 47.5 billion yen (US$442 million) in 2007, a 16% drop compared to 55.5 billion yen (US$520 million) in 2006. However, theatrical anime production, video production and licensing fees, video distribution, merchandising, and overseas sales all also experienced sales declines compared to the previous year. Music publishing and distribution did experience small increases in sales.
According to AJA, the packaged video software makers were affected by the long-term rise in the number of anime titles with lowering profits per title. The makers have been adjusting recently by lowering the number of titles they release.
AJA represents 56 anime production companies, studios, packaged video software makers, and other companies. Among other activities, it runs the Tokyo International Anime Fair.
Source: Industry Group: Global Anime Sales Dipped 7.4% in 2007 - Anime News Network
7.4% is a BIG number, especially given that the past 5 years have all seen growth.
Not really much else to say. I'm sure fansubs had a lot to do with this but we all already know that fansubs are killing the anime industry.