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NEWS: Newspaper: Funimation Sales Down More Than Half Since 2004


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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5638
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:15 pm Reply with quote
Well naturally the industry has declined significantly since the boom years, but 75 percent? Damn, that's pretty disturbing.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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Location: Romania, Bucharest
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:17 pm Reply with quote
I fail to see how that was Funi's fault.
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Relmstein1



Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:23 pm Reply with quote
I think Funimation should recover in 2011. Eventually, Blu-Ray sales should start to increase and their line-up this year seems strong (FLCL, Chobits). I just hope they weren't planning on making any money from p2p settlements since the judge just severed their one piece lawsuit.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/texas-chainsaw-massacre-senior-judge-severs-most-p2p-lawsuits.ars
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firedragon54738



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 3024
Location: wisconsin
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:23 pm Reply with quote
Well Funi have been sitting on a lot of titles maybe thats why there sells are down
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 3782
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:26 pm Reply with quote
Was the title of the article intentionally cut to draw in the crowds?

People are going to may be disappointed in reading the obvious.

Wouldn't want my opinion being read as a fact.
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_V_



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 619
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:32 pm Reply with quote
This isn't really FUNimation's fault....but Navarre was pumping a lot of money into FUNimation since 2005. This is how it managed to stay afloat when other companies were sinking (that, and FUNimation hadn't over-expanded as much as Geneon and ADV at the time, so they were just more stable to begin with).

Navarre increasingly realized it might never get that money back, that it doesn't even know how to run FUNimation on a personal level (they're not a media company) so they tried to sell it.

Problem is, to their horror, they have to face the fact that no one is willing to pay the asking price, because FUNimation today isn't worth what it was in 2005....its still a great company, its just that Navarre bought it just as the anime boom was topping out, pre-Geneon collapse.

So yes, they are worth a fourth of what they used to be, and they sank a lot of that cash into FUNimation and that cash isn't coming back. No one wants to buy FUNimation. They didn't understand that no one was in a position to buy it.

Overall, the *attempted* sale of FUNimation is going to damage FUNimation and Navarre, specifically in two ways:

1 - because Navarre is a publicly traded company, trying to sell off a big media unit like FUNimation...and then failing to find a buyer....has shaken investor confidence; and their stock value has taken a hit.

2 - in anticipation of this sale, FUNimation was desperately slashing prices for the past half a year or so, to try to get their sales figures unnaturally high, so they'd look better when they're put on sale. Slashing all those prices ultimately lost a lot of money....for no reason at all. FUNimation simply lost money with all of those slashed prices, and the only winner was the consumer.....I mean $20 for a theatrical blu-ray? I mean I'm happy about it, but that can't be sustainable.

My prediction is that generally, FUNimation's prices are going to start shooting up as soon as the sale is officially abandoned. Soon afterwards, we're going to see that Navarre is unwilling to spot them for as much money as before, because they know they're not getting it back. The combined effect of Navarre's dropping stock value and the *net* revenue lost during the 2010 season, will mean FUNimation will be less willing to buy up every single title on the market.

I fully believe FUNimation will remain the "dominant" company in the anime market, but this will allow other companies to start chipping away at the near-monopoly FUNimation has enjoyed for the past 3 years or so. Currently, other companies can only really buy stuff that FUNimation doesn't want to, they get first pick on everything....that's why only niche titles are going to things like Nozomi, Section 23, etc....though thankfully many of those are "niche" in the sense of "hidden gem that a smaller niche company put out a better fancy box set for" (i.e. Utena)


On the one hand, I think there are simply too many anime companies out there right now, there was too much competition and the economy cannot sustain this many. On the other hand, I think we need *at least two companies actually producing English dubs*, in order to maintain "healthy competition" from which the consumer will benefit. If we have only one company in a monopoly, they won't really strive for better standards of English dubs or DVD extras.
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AnimeCornerStore
Accredited Retailer


Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 118
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:42 pm Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
Well naturally the industry has declined significantly since the boom years, but 75 percent? Damn, that's pretty disturbing.


No news here. Anime sales in the US have dropped probably 70-75% across the board since the peak in 2005. DVD, Manga, Merchandise, everything. Excluding Disney, the Anime DVD market alone in 2005 was around $350 Million. Last year if you exclude Disney it was maybe around what, $80-$85 Million? That's Funi, Viz, Section 23, MB, and all the other little ones put together. Anime is a 'micro' market again.

With everything that's been written on this over the last couple of years, this should be no surprise to anyone. All of us in the biz know this all too well, its just no one likes to talk about it because it reflects poorly on the potential valuation of someone's company. There are insiders still around in the R1 industry that put a lot of money and effort into the Anime biz, and are now bitterly lamenting that they clearly bet on the wrong horse. I've never felt like that though, I was always surprised that it ever got as big as it did a few years ago. My philosophy is that you just gotta make the best out of what you have, whatever that is.

Anyway, this year we're partying like it's 1999 - literally. Smile

Bob (aka Robert)
President
The Anime Corner Store

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mglittlerobin



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
Posts: 971
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:44 pm Reply with quote
Of course it went down, after all the anime bubble burst in '07, but I buy a lot from them, but I am currently giving my money to Aniplex America for Durarara!! and there are a few series I want to finish and buy that aren't Funi titles, but most of my collection is their titles.
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decepticons2



Joined: 22 Oct 2008
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:50 pm Reply with quote
A few things. V is completely right its a story of buying at the peak and not seeing the market trend. How could the DVD market support itself the way it was going.

But the pricing may be a little bit of an illusion alot of the titles they have discounted are releases. Making and releasing dvds almost cost nothing. So they may be making a small profit. The few websites i visit never mention the actual cost of licensing series.

Next, a scaled back anime industry is more sustainable in the long term. Also will probably force some anime into some sweet streaming deals. If there is no NA companies that want them then a few dollars or maybe more interest on some site will help.

I personally don't want to buy hundreds of dvds a year I don't watch a few subscription based sites is way more appealing. If funi would put there ducks in a row I would be happy to give them about 10 dollars a month.
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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 3570
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:58 pm Reply with quote
well maybe if they'd stop trying to charge 25% more than the average dvd price (for the same length)

no excuse for it but greed. the "We have to translate it and stuff" doesnt work because foreign films of the same length cost the normal price.
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Sam Murai



Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Posts: 961
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:59 pm Reply with quote
Nothing too surprising given that was from the time of the bubble, but it's still good to see some hard numbers underscoring it. I think the industry will begin rebounding this year and over the next two to three years with the way it has changed and restructured in some areas (i.e. new business models, digital distro), as well as with the upcoming slate of strong titles being released here and also being made in Japan.

Last edited by Sam Murai on Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Thunderbird-



Joined: 06 Mar 2009
Posts: 60
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:03 pm Reply with quote
This makes sense. Funi isn't selling four(?) episode volumes of Dragon Ball Z anymore.
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Ryujin99



Joined: 21 Jul 2010
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:10 pm Reply with quote
As has been made painfully obvious now, the anime market has shrunken again.
But with the societal standards and expectations in the US, is this really a surprise? These standards have been, still are, and probably always will be the biggest obstacle to releasing anime here in the US, because most people here say "Ooh! It's animated! It's a kids' show!" And that was true... for Pokemon, YuGiOh!, and Bakugan... but not for a whole lot outside of that. Not to mention that even anime that are aimed at Kids in Japan aren't necessarily considered "kid-friendly" here in the US (ie. Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Inuyasha).

It drives me insane whenever I see an articles titled with stuff like "Mother sues over violent cartoon in library!" But it's because of such things that anime hasn't been able to become a big deal here.

I mean, to be perfectly honest, as far as I know, there are a lot of people that don't even realize that anime is any different from other cartoons, if they even know that it comes from Japan.

Sure, I'm kind of ranting here, but I guess all in all I'm just saying that, as depressing as it is, this bubble burst really isn't terribly surprising. Not only did the boom for anime end, but the general economic dive drove the market even further down, and I think that a lot of people have yet to realize that the anime market isn't going to get built back up the way it was five or six years ago.

I just kind of wish that there was some way for me, or other people for that matter, to try and get more people to realize that being animated doesn't make something a kid's show, nor does it mean that it's supposed to be pointless or silly... aside from just talking to friends and such.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2047
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:10 pm Reply with quote
Making this information public (this was not the result of some undercover investigation, there was a "deep throat" that gave the info to the reporter) makes no sense UNLESS they will continue their attempts to sell Funi (at an slashed price, I smell a 75% discount on the original price) to secure some fresh cash for Navarre that will no doubt increase their stock price.
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FaytLein



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 1260
Location: Williamsburg, VA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:19 pm Reply with quote
Anime has always been a very small niche entertainment format in the US. Primarily driven by collector's, the major reason why the bubble even formed in the first place was the TV success of things like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Gundam Wing. Add on to that was the numerous brick and mortar stores increasing anime's visual appeal to casual buyers. With both the loss of TV deals and major retailers, anime has defaulted to being collector driven, which with the sagging economy isn't exactly a very attractive business to be involved in.

But hopefully Funi will be able to at least stabilize themselves, I don't really see Bandai or Neo ADV even trying to become a new Funi, and we kind of need something like Funi to keep things afloat.
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