YouTube and fansubs helped the first DVD of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu sell 60,000 units in the US. This compares with only 80,000 of each DVD sold in Japan.
This information is from an interview with the president of Kadokawa Holdings, Kadokawa Tsuguhito, published in the prestigious Japanese financial daily Nihon Keizai Shinbun.
Kadokawa, publisher of the Haruhi novels and rights-holder for the anime, has adopted an internet policy that includes a cooperation agreement with YouTube. The 60,000 sales figure is particularly impressive considering that the show has not been shown on TV in the US, but only through fansubs and to some extent on YouTube.
The figures appear to confirm arguments from fans that fansubs may not hurt anime sales as much as thought, since they also publicize the shows.