1.1 How important are DVD/BD sales?
It depends! Great disc sales can make a show, but low sales won’t necessarily break it. A detailed explanation of “how the business works” requires a lot more detail but for now it’s sufficient to know that DVD/BD purchases are only one revenue stream sharing the burden with potentially many others, such as:
– Manga and novels
– Figures and toys
– Character merchandise
– Music and drama CDs
– Video games/visual novels/mobile games
– Ratings (advertising)
– Retailer collaborations (e.g. Famima, Lawson)
– International licensing
…and more. You even have situations where factors like government funding, the promotion of tourism, or cultural diplomacy matter.
I’m also sidestepping the byzantine world of revenue distribution among animation production committee members for the moment. Most anime is financed by multiple investors (for example, publishers, video distributors, music labels, figure and toy manufacturers, television stations, animation studios, etc), each of which may take differently-sized cuts of the various revenue streams. Video sales alone will not define “hit” or “flop” for every investor. If your only cut of the pie is figure sales, video sales are, at least directly, irrelevant to you. In Section 2, you’ll get more information on these production committees from Ultimatemegax.
What’s attractive about video disc sales is that we’re presumably here because we like to watch anime, and the video discs containing said anime are the most direct manifestation of the anime in purchasable form. It’s understandable the numbers interest us and it’s fairly obvious I’m no exception to that – but keep in mind their many, many limitations.
Unless we have information on Crystal's ratings, merchandise sales, CD sales, we don't have the full picture so people worried that it's being cancelled because of Season 3's bluray sales are being waaaaay over the top.
Toei is most likely just taking a break to focus on the 100 other projects they have on their plate. Saint Seiya had a break inbetween Soul of Gold which finished airing on September 2015 and the new ONA that's going to air next year.