Within the anime, manga, and gaming community, we hardly view it as 'niche' or needing to be introduced into the 'mainstream' of entertainment. But the truth is that anime is still considered the ugly cousin to 'cartoons' and other animated entertainment. (Warning: Never refer to anime as a cartoon within hearing distance of hardcore fans.)
From all reports, the popular Japanese culture will continue to grow within the West and expand as it has been for the last decade. At this pace, within five years there will be consistent new and original programming, ala Netflix and Hulu.
It's both a positive and negative eventuality.