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NEWS: Uncertain State of the Anime Industry Profiled


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bleuster



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 454
Location: Orange County

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:39 am Reply with quote
Unit 03.5-ish wrote:
I won't deny that both the companies and the fansubbers have dipped their hands in the pie that is the sagging state of the industry. Basically, Japan's been slow to adapt new business and distribution models, but fansubbers continue to dole out pirated anime and lots of people refuse to ever pay a dime for the shows even when the legit DVDs pop up. So yeah, no one's entirely blameless in this situation.

Exactly. If both really want to see the anime industry flourish for years to come both are going to have to go hand-to-hand on this. I can see both meeting on that level, but it's all about time and money.
Quote:
Unfortunately, I don't see how this is going to change business models for distributors in the West, since there doesn't seem to be a large market for merchandise - I sure have no interest in it beyond the DVDs.

Yeah, that's another hurdle they have to work on if they want to go that route.
I think sponsors should cut the anime companies a slack of they got a plan to sort all this out, but I don't know.
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Swissman



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 412
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:46 am Reply with quote
ValkyrieZeroZeroOne wrote:
Unit 03.5-ish wrote:
Article wrote:
"These sites upload programs almost immediately after they are broadcast in Japan," accompanied with "fan subs" — English subtitles translated by fans," Iwata said. "This is causing a very big dent in sales."



This statement is something they come up with because they are so set in their business model that they "Must Protect DVD Licences at all cost". For too long they've been unwilling to look at alternative income sources. If they wanted to do something, they could have been looking at online streaming ages ago.

It's not like the anime industry has never considered the idea of streaming their shows online to customers for money. I remember having discovered a japanese homepage years ago (somewhere around 2001-02) which offered the possibility to pay for streams of single episodes from once popular mahou shoujo series like the ones from studio Pierrot (Creamy Mami, Pastel Yumi...), Toei Animation or Asahi Productions (Minky Momo).
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bayoab



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 829

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:51 am Reply with quote
Ian K wrote:
Under 'Candid talk about how the business of anime works', the Prez confirms that most of the profits are made on merchandise sales,
This isn't really surprising considering he works for Toei and Toei depends on the merchandising model. They basically make shows to sell merchandise. If a show's merchandise stops selling, the show gets canned as soon as possible.

Quote:
and that in some cases fansubs have actually led to increased sales (he says Lucky Star didn't catch on in Japan until after international fans got into it).
I have no idea how he came to this conclusion but Lucky Star was very popular in Japan when it aired.
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dbzliveaction



Joined: 06 Feb 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:52 am Reply with quote
Dante80 wrote:
Stop blaming fansubs for the market crunch.

Those who download but don't care to buy afterwards are NOT going to buy if illegal downloads magically seize to exist. Anime are not drugs, they are products of the entertainment industry. They will just find another hobby....Wink



If this is how you justify your stealing of someone elses property thats fine.....if it helps you sleep at night. But a simple economic equation......if creators keep pumping their hard earned money and effort into producing a product which people then refuse to buy but instead steal for free, well then my advise to you is to start looking for a new hobby right now cause anime wont be around in a few years and we have people like you to thank for that!
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loka



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:57 am Reply with quote
bayoab wrote:
Quote:

and that in some cases fansubs have actually led to increased sales (he says Lucky Star didn't catch on in Japan until after international fans got into it)
.I have no idea how he came to this conclusion but Lucky Star was very popular in Japan when it aired.


and there was a "bunch" of us watching it around the world when it aired.

dbzliveaction wrote:

If this is how you justify your stealing of someone elses property thats fine.....if it helps you sleep at night. But a simple economic equation......if creators keep pumping their hard earned money and effort into producing a product which people then refuse to buy but instead steal for free, well then my advise to you is to start looking for a new hobby right now cause anime wont be around in a few years and we have people like you to thank for that!


Simple economic question for you: if the fanbase exploded because of fansubs and the internet, yet a percentage of those millions refuse to buy videos, how bad off are you? the japanese companies are slow to capitalize on globalization. if laws make it difficult, blame the laws not the fans.


Last edited by loka on Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12531
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:58 am Reply with quote
[Note: I originally sent this to someone - who out of respect for their privacy shall remain nameless - as part of a Private Message correspondence. I thought I'd post it here - with a couple of minor edits - as it is of course relevant to the topic at hand and might be an interesting read.]

The article sure did mention a smorgasbord of reasons why the Anime industry is struggling. Fansubbers are only one small part, a single factor for the decline. I wish people wouldn't get so hung up over it, and look to the wider picture.

First off, you have the animation bubble which is now beginning to (slowly) burst, which means viewer demand has largely peaked despite more and more people getting into the fanbase. The bubble was arguably created partially by fansubbers who helped "spread the word"; whether or not the fansubbers are directly to blame for the bubble bursting is a extremely sensitive and contentious topic in fandom right now.

Second, you have a demographic shift in Japan, the country where most of the profits are probably made. The more mature programs are what these older audiences desire, yet such programs don't attract much advertising dollars. Which seems strange to me, since hardcore Otaku are infamous - some might say notorious - for being big spenders on merchandise. I guess that doesn't translate to buying anything that most advertisers are trying to sell.

Thirdly, there has been for some time large inefficiencies in the Japanese animation market. Even before the bubble burst there was far too many animation companies out there, which meant most found it impossible to pay their employees a decent wage. Shift the supply curve to the right and the equilibrium price decreases, because if one company charges too much the Anime producers will simply move on to another. Low wages coupled with high workload conspire to cause many people to leave the industry, which leaves it bereft of the sort of talent needed to make quality shows. Fansubbers didn't cause that problem

Fourth factor; modern Japan is no stranger to recession, but this one takes the cake in terms of severity. And excepting those companies like McDonalds, a recession isn't good for anyone.

Fifth, the production studios and overseas licensors haven't been keeping up with the advances in technology. Modern Anime fans around the world quite rightly expect the industry to adopt modern distribution methods, such as the Internet or pod-cast. They are far more efficient both logistically and economically. But the industry has stubbornly refused to change their (up to now) successful business model. Times are changing though, and a few companies are really trying.

Sixth factor; however, one thing that most people don't realise is that the studios themselves are bound by draconian contracts with Japanese T.V. stations. The T.V. stations in some cases demand that the Anime studios pay them, for the "honour" of having their Anime on T.V.. It's sickening. With the T.V. stations also getting the advertising revenue in such deals, the only way the studios in those sorts of cases can make money is by way of DVD and merchandising sales. Crazy. Also, most T.V. stations insist on a minimum length of time that the Anime can go to DVD or be officially (read: legally) released onto the Internet.

Anyway, now we get to the fansubbers, the seventh and perhaps last factor. The problem with the global fansubbing phenomenon isn't necessarily the Western fansubbers; the ones who really are to blame are the Japanese (or sometimes Westerners living in Japan) who upload high-quality versions of Anime onto Japanese file-sharing websites. That's where everyone - including Western fansubbers and perhaps even the Chinese fansubbers too - get the raw version to put the subtitles to. Take those Japan-based websites down, and virtually everyone down the chain is affected. The problem is, taking down all the sites simultaneously, keeping them down, and stopping new ones from springing up, is nigh-on impossible.

I don't deny that people are watching fansubs without any intention of buying the DVDs, and it breaks my heart. It is also helping to break the industry. However, I am disappointed that people automatically assume it is all the fault of the fansubbers, when factors ranging from a bad global economy, an industry bubble bursting, loss of talent due to poor pay and working conditions, and an outdated business model all play a part as well.

Crap that was a long post. Whew.
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ValkyrieZeroZeroOne



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:18 am Reply with quote
Swissman wrote:
ValkyrieZeroZeroOne wrote:
Unit 03.5-ish wrote:
Article wrote:
"These sites upload programs almost immediately after they are broadcast in Japan," accompanied with "fan subs" — English subtitles translated by fans," Iwata said. "This is causing a very big dent in sales."



This statement is something they come up with because they are so set in their business model that they "Must Protect DVD Licences at all cost". For too long they've been unwilling to look at alternative income sources. If they wanted to do something, they could have been looking at online streaming ages ago.

It's not like the anime industry has never considered the idea of streaming their shows online to customers for money. I remember having discovered a japanese homepage years ago (somewhere around 2001-02) which offered the possibility to pay for streams of single episodes from once popular mahou shoujo series like the ones from studio Pierrot (Creamy Mami, Pastel Yumi...), Toei Animation or Asahi Productions (Minky Momo).


Unfortunately I can't comment on how well it was marketed, because I didn't get into anime until around 2004. That said, it is the particular product that's the issue. The products in demand at a given point in time are the shows airing in Japan at that time. When you consider the number of shows airing in Japan at any given time, and the number of those shows likely to be even looked at by R1 companies, that's a hell of a lot of untapped revenue potential. That's where the industry is losing out.
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cnav



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:19 am Reply with quote
nice idea enurtsol...

do u really think that there are english/hindi fansubbers in this region..people in this country are against anime..
there was an article in a newspaper a fortnight ago...criticizing animes and manga and about they are introducing something really notorious in to the indian soceity...it also said that people here don't want all tat in the soceity as it is not a part of the so called INDIAN CULTURE...
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Ian K



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 237

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:31 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Quote:
and that in some cases fansubs have actually led to increased sales (he says Lucky Star didn't catch on in Japan until after international fans got into it).
I have no idea how he came to this conclusion but Lucky Star was very popular in Japan when it aired.


I stand corrected. I never really paid attention to Luck Star.


Quote:
do u really think that there are english/hindi fansubbers in this region..people in this country are against anime..
there was an article in a newspaper a fortnight ago...criticizing animes and manga and about they are introducing something really notorious in to the indian soceity...it also said that people here don't want all tat in the soceity as it is not a part of the so called INDIAN CULTURE...


cnav, if that article is in English could you maybe put a link to it up? I'd be interested in reading it.
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Unit 03.5-ish



Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 1540
Location: This space for rent

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:34 am Reply with quote
loka wrote:
bayoab wrote:
Quote:

and that in some cases fansubs have actually led to increased sales (he says Lucky Star didn't catch on in Japan until after international fans got into it)
.I have no idea how he came to this conclusion but Lucky Star was very popular in Japan when it aired.


and there was a "bunch" of us watching it around the world when it aired.


Yet that "bunch" didn't contribute to its revenue. Funny, huh?

Ioka wrote:
dbzliveaction wrote:

If this is how you justify your stealing of someone elses property thats fine.....if it helps you sleep at night. But a simple economic equation......if creators keep pumping their hard earned money and effort into producing a product which people then refuse to buy but instead steal for free, well then my advise to you is to start looking for a new hobby right now cause anime wont be around in a few years and we have people like you to thank for that!


Simple economic question for you: if the fanbase exploded because of fansubs and the internet, yet a percentage of those millions refuse to buy videos, how bad off are you? the japanese companies are slow to capitalize on globalization. if laws make it difficult, blame the laws not the fans.


I'm going to trot out a record so broken that even duct tape and Krazy Glue probably won't do it much good, but...a large percentage of the "new wave" of anime fans are "broke" HS and college kids who have no intention of putting any disposable income they have towards anime. The people who got into anime in the VHS days are mostly fans BECAUSE they took a chance on this unusual entertainment format they knew little about, not because they got some torrent from the Interwebs. You can't possibly be denying that the "broke" kids are having a significant impact on the R1 industry. Everyone seems to like to ignore them as a factor.
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cnav



Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:59 am Reply with quote
Ian K wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
and that in some cases fansubs have actually led to increased sales (he says Lucky Star didn't catch on in Japan until after international fans got into it).
I have no idea how he came to this conclusion but Lucky Star was very popular in Japan when it aired.


I stand corrected. I never really paid attention to Luck Star.


Quote:
do u really think that there are english/hindi fansubbers in this region..people in this country are against anime..
there was an article in a newspaper a fortnight ago...criticizing animes and manga and about they are introducing something really notorious in to the indian soceity...it also said that people here don't want all tat in the soceity as it is not a part of the so called INDIAN CULTURE...


cnav, if that article is in English could you maybe put a link to it up? I'd be interested in reading it.


sorry Ian ..>>i don't think i have a link to it...the article actually came in the newspaper which i get at home....
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 611

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:08 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
[stuff that more people should pay attention to]

THANK YOU for posting this. Yes, people who just download and never buy anything (which =/= all people who watch fansubs) is a huge problem, but it's not "the" problem. People should be aware that the situation is far more complex than that, and fansubbers alone can't be blamed for what's happening.
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JINROH



Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:17 am Reply with quote
Dante80 wrote:
Stop blaming fansubs for the market crunch.

Those who STEAL but don't care to buy afterwards are NOT going to buy if illegal downloads magically seize to exist. Anime are not drugs, they are products of the entertainment industry. They will just find another hobby (BANDWAGON TO JUMP ON AND THEN PROMPTLY RAPE THAT ONE INTO THE GROUND !!!).

Those who watch fansubs and then go and buy anime merchandise, DVDs and related products will not do so at the same frequency if they have no access to the content for "free" (as most Japanese do via free television + ads).

Those who do not download but buy/rent everything they watch will not be affected anyway one way or the other.


Read more into the report, this is not another fansub debate people. Fansubs/downloading/illegal streaming is only a small part of the problem, a problem that has to do with the world evolving and the industry failing to catch up, and also, with the global economy crisis. At least, that is my take on this...Wink



Yes we will be affected,as less and less will be made,meaning less and less anime for me to support with hard earned dollars.The internet has let everyone and thier dog,become a pirate,with no fear
of being caught.

Most of the people I know download fifty to one (versus financially supporting an artform they claim to be a 'fan' of,and many have the cash,but just can't be god damned bothered.
They have told me openly,not like I'd need to be told...

"I can't get caught,and everyone else is doing it...so...." They don't see the immiedaite outcome of thier actions,so they don't care.
If it was thier jiob on the line,I very highly suspect they'd all be singing a very,very different tune.

Its ( fansubs/ illegal downloading / uploading ) an amazingly huge part of the problem,but many don't want to own up to the fact we have raised a generation of thieves and liars.

Personal responsiblity and morality,and honesty,are not only dead,but shunned and mocked by the majority of the anime 'fan' community.

Personal responsiblity has been run roughshod over,partly by the ability to hide behind an IP address,(also partly by a broken education system),and make morally bankrupt 'arguements' about how its all just a bunch of zeroes and ones,So who [expletive] cares !!?! Theft is theft is theft.

I don't care if its walking into Best Buy and shoplifting,or by downloading a bunch of zeroes and ones via torrent or IRC,

Your talking something thats not rightfully,legally yours to take !

You and others can twist and squirm around it all,as much as you like,but its wrong.

World 'evolving' eh ? So we have 'evolved' into a world of thieves and
,liars,morally,and intellectually bankrupt 'me firsts' lemmings,and the hell with everyone else !

Gee....Ain't evolotion great !
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Unit 03.5-ish



Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 1540
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:26 am Reply with quote
JINROH wrote:
Stuff about fansubs and moral bankruptcy and irresponsibility


Yes, this. Like I said above, people seem to want to ignore that downloaders who never buy are a tremendously large part of the issue. No, they aren't the only issue, but by far they are one of the most prominent contributing factors to the industry's rapid decline. OK, so the companies have failed to take advantage of the new business models and opportunities available to them. But maybe, just maybe, the fear of the rampant piracy taking place now is factoring into their hesitation. I bet people won't even care, as I said, after reading how paltry the typical animator's salary is in Japan. Anime isn't produced by one person, or shat out of some magical machine that makes it instantly, it requires a team of people working together who barely make enough to pay their bills and support themselves and their family.
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Earth_Wyrm



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 505

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:52 am Reply with quote
As soon as I entered this thread, I knew that it was serious business, because there seems to be some sort of formatting arms war going on. First it was caps, then it was bold and now it has moved on to the underlining.
Here's hoping the madness ends before we hit red size-20 font. Confused


Last edited by Earth_Wyrm on Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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