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Answerman - Why Are UK Releases Slower Than North American Releases?


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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:11 pm Reply with quote
Sometimes one just has to accept the consequences of being an English speaking market that isn't the USA: we're always second on the list.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
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Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:25 pm Reply with quote
Numbers, dear lad, numbers! Oh and distance has a bit to do with it as well. Laughing
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Just Passing Through



Joined: 04 Apr 2011
Posts: 186
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Lemonchest wrote:
Sometimes one just has to accept the consequences of being an English speaking market that isn't the USA: we're always second on the list.


Third on the list actually. We do rely on bigger markets for disc localisation. The US to sort out the dubs and subs, and do the major legwork of the authoring. But the fact is that the UK is PAL format for SD television, and Region B for Blu-ray. In the old days when NTSC video was a no-no here (Manga Entertainment in particular had to release DVDs as PAL only), the UK scene had to wait for an Australian company to re-author the discs for PAL playback. Even now with Blu-ray, companies like MVM tend to split the costs with an Australian company that will localise the Blu-rays to Region B.

Things are getting better now, with more releases aiming for day and date with the US.
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wertwow



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 16
Location: UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Yep main issue is numbers and market size. Back in the bad days of Manga UK, shows like Xam'd had their Blurays canceled because they sold as few as 100 copies. Even top sellers like Fullmetal Alchmist Brotherhood had their single volume blurays Canceled. In the case of One Peice though, I think the issue was with toei I remeber Jerome (of manga uk) saying on twitter and on podcasts that their was some issue with toei regarding the rights.

That said I am glad now that Anime limited have started to seprate the markets a little bit, with diffrent types of release and ones that dont make it to the States. Even if we still see failures like Samurai Falmenco not making back its BBFC costs (which is another issue for UK distributors).

Edit: http://blog.alltheanime.com/sales-charts-february-2015/ Just a futher demonstration of how small the market is. 2nd top selling new release for feburay last year sold only 300-400 copies.


Last edited by wertwow on Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 2034
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:40 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Where an average US disc release might sell 10-15,000 units, a UK release might have trouble clearing 2,000.
That is a alarming, it makes you wonder how they survive. Is it even making a profit or just breaking even.

In terns if differences, I notice there seems to be more love for films in the UK market. Miss Hokusai and Giovanni's Island have both been released in a bigger way in the UK than the US, the later hasn't even got a US release yet, and the publisher for the former is going ahead with a release independent of Gkids. And there is the kickstarter for a western release of Mai Mia Miracle, and the fact that Anime Limited funded the dub for Cyborg 009.
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albanian
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Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 128
Location: UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:42 pm Reply with quote
One of the other downsides to this problem is the uncertainty as to whether a title will be released in the UK at all. Companies are sometimes, for perfectly understandable reasons, unwilling to make announcements too early in case deals fall through or the title proves to be commercially unviable. The choice for the UK consumer is thus between waiting (and waiting and waiting) for an announcement which may never come, or plucking up one's courage in the face of some unfriendly exchange rates and buying the stateside release. (God be praised for multi-region players!)

Can I help it that I'm one of those dinosaurs who insists on having a physical copy on my shelves?
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 3373
Location: Iscandar
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Answerman wrote:
an average US disc release might sell 10-15,000 units

Wow, those seem to me like very healthy numbers. I was under the impression that the average was around 6,500. I am not doubting Justin's numbers, but I want to know how he got them.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 8082
Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:50 pm Reply with quote
albanian wrote:


Can I help it that I'm one of those dinosaurs who insists on having a physical copy on my shelves?
From one discoplodicus, to another. (What's that bright light off in the horizon?) Laughing
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consignia



Joined: 06 Jul 2011
Posts: 295
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, this whole thing is quite a well known phonemona. In the business they call it PAL slowdown.
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Just Passing Through



Joined: 04 Apr 2011
Posts: 186
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:31 pm Reply with quote
On a very rare occasion, being in the UK can have its benefits, being close to Europe. we did get Magi, and World Conquest Zvezda Plot Blurays after all. Then again, Bakuman turned out to be something of debacle.

Edit: Just remembered, next week thanks to AU's Madman, Manga is releasing Rock Lee And his Ninja Pals, which I believe is unreleased in the US.
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:43 pm Reply with quote
One consequence of the disadvantages our industry faces is that the issue of fansubs has traditionally been a slightly less thorny one over here than in North America. Although streaming has finally begun the slow process of whittling away the disparities between English-speaking regions, coming across a title that was unattainable for all intents and purposes has always been a more regular occurrence for typical fans on this side of the Atlantic. "Don't ask, don't tell" is probably the staunchest attitude towards extra-legal anime sources that I have come across locally.

Meanwhile, the offices of the BBFC (close to which I happen to work) remain as suspiciously opulent as ever.

consignia wrote:
In the business they call it PAL slowdown.

Ho-ho! That deserves a Blue Peter badge if nothing else.
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thekingsdinner



Joined: 25 Sep 2010
Posts: 811
Location: Terheijden, Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:44 pm Reply with quote
I'm fine with releases coming out in the UK later than in the US because very often the UK releases are cheaper. I ordered Log Horizon 2 Part 1 BD today now that it's finally out and it cost me only 28 euros, less than half of the US price.

The UK market may not be be as big as the US, but man am I eternally grateful for MVM's existence. They have made my collecting much more affordable and they're releasing the original Berserk anime on Blu-ray this november which I'm seriously excited for.
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Chrno2



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 5637
Location: USA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:50 pm Reply with quote
interesting article but if the opposite could be said for release that only the UK gets that we don't see until a year or two later. I wasn't aware that there were some DVD releases that the US gets the UK and other areas get later. And this seems like a similar deal with video games as well.
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 101
Location: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
There have been UK releases that were delayed well over a year simply due to delays in acquiring English dub materials.


And that can be a pretty generous estimate all things considered. There was a recent reminder on the latest Anime Limited podcast that the likes of Nermina Daikon Brothers and the Makoto Shinkai Collection were licenced back in 2013 but are still to be released, either because of materials acquisition or what suspiciously looks like trying to delay a product to coincide with other releases by the same artist. Then there's the Mai Mai Miracle debacle (which may have been what you were referring to), which suffered from the original staff being extremely hands on, only to become unresponsive once they went into production on another movie. It really highlights that the delays in all the rescue licences from several years ago really aren't a simple case of people dragging their asses.

Honestly, it should be no huge surprise that numerous shows are seeing delays, either from standard sublicensing issues of material acquisition from Japan. It's also worth noting that Anime Limited, the largest publisher in the UK only started up in 2013 by releasing classics like Cowboy Bebop, with a series of bad decisions/luck from their competitors seemingly help propelling them to the top of the market quite by chance, and now being responsible for the greater share of the big budget releases. It's a pretty huge responsibility for a relatively new start up company with a small amount of staff. I'm hoping the collaboration they've made with Funimation helps ease the burden.


Quote:
Even if we still see failures like Samurai Flamenco not making back its BBFC costs (which is another issue for UK distributors).


Man, I wasn't expecting the show to be a success but I'd hoped the numbers wouldn't be quite that bad. I guess it's a warning sign about prematurely licencing shows if you aren't 100% sure about the end result (although the director/studio hinted at positive returns). In any case, it looks like both the US & UK are hedging their bets and releasing G Reco as a complete collection in the hopes that the Gundam title will sustain it. I can't imagine anyone picking up the second set if that was split into two.
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SouthPacific



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 689
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:34 pm Reply with quote
I'm not so sure if those sales numbers are by any means reliable, as last I heard from Jerome of Manga/Animatsu a show breaking 1k sales was considered very good and many shows would not breach four digits...

As for delays I wouldn't be surprised at all if the long wait between shows airing and finally getting UK releases would result in an even lower amount of sales as the hype has died off completely and people have moved onto new shows.

I was very happy to hear that Anime LTD would not wait for the US dub that is being produced for Miss Hokusai and instead release their own subtitled release Very Happy! It's things like that which has made me a big fan of the company.
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