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jmays
ANN Associate Editor


Joined: 29 Jul 2002
Posts: 1390
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 2:59 pm Reply with quote
I'm not sure I understand the part about "convention critical mass." If, as you suggested, the video rooms showed single episodes instead of large chunks of series, wouldn't attendees have gotten more out of the event? And if ACen's functions were all "mediocre to average," are you saying that improving them would have no effect on attendees' experiences?

I haven't been to anywhere near as many cons as you have, so I'm sure my perspective's different, but I think you're going too far to say that once a con breaks a size threshold, nothing they do matters. Sure, if you go to them all the time, you'd probably get bored by things like video rooms, and socializing becomes the only real draw. But many fans are only casual con-goers, and for them, I think the quality of the con events is much more important.
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CorneredAngel



Joined: 17 Jun 2002
Posts: 722
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:37 pm Reply with quote
Miagi wrote:
If, as you suggested, the video rooms showed single episodes instead of large chunks of series, wouldn't attendees have gotten more out of the event? And if ACen's functions were all "mediocre to average," are you saying that improving them would have no effect on attendees' experiences?


From talking to fans over the last couple of years, I'm seeing a definite trend; more and more people are using conventions simply as physical spaces to hang out. Function rooms may seem filled, but when taking into account that attendance like ACen is reaching numbers of around 10K, the five hundred people who are in the function rooms represent just a small portion of that. Showing single episodes in the video rooms would have gotten *me* into the video rooms - but overall, I stand by the assertion, most of the people attending anime conventions nowadays are looking for social interaction, not for what the convention itself is able to offer - dealer's room and perhaps the cosplay excluded.

(This actually also goes back to a debate raging in the anime convention community, about whether anime cons are still based too much - and needlessly - on the SF con paradigm, and whether there needs to be a change that would emphacise things like concerts and photoshoots, and de-emphacise panels and showings).

As far as the concept of "casual con-goers" goes; this was certainly relevant four or five years ago, when cons really were the only places that offered this much anime at once - and when unless you really were jacked into the scene and able to travel a lot, you might only go to one convention per year. Nowadays, on the other hand, anything that you can see at a con, you will most likely be able to see at home (*especially* as conventions tend to no longer show fansubs), and because of the proliferation of conventions over the last five years, a con is no longer a huge once-a-year event, but rather, merely another way to spend a weekend...
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Elfmaid



Joined: 03 Sep 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:47 pm Reply with quote
In regards to the FUNimation post, there is a severe flaw in thinking. Heiskell states that by paying $19.99-$24.99 for 3 episodes per disc, retailers (and thereby the customers, since they are the ones who get charged the end amount) are saving money. In reality, if you are paying that much for less episodes but the series has to be released on more DVDs, consumers are actually not saving anything, rather to the contrary, and are instead having more space being taken up on their shelves.

Let's look at the math.

Fruits Basket. 26 episodes. 4 dvds @ 29.98 each. Series total cost: $119.92
Kiddy Grade. 24 episodes. 8 dvds @ 24.98 each. Series total cost: $199.84
(15 eps released through disk 5, which leaves 9 more eps. So three more disks to be expected, bringing to 8 dvds, if anyone was curious how I got that number of dvds.)

Where these supposed savings? Keep in mind that both of these series are ones put out by FUNimation. Despite being two episodes less, Kiddy Grade winds up costing $79.92 more.

Yeah. Thanks for the wonderful "logic", FUNi.
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jmays
ANN Associate Editor


Joined: 29 Jul 2002
Posts: 1390
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:51 pm Reply with quote
CorneredAngel wrote:
(This actually also goes back to a debate raging in the anime convention community, about whether anime cons are still based too much - and needlessly - on the SF con paradigm, and whether there needs to be a change that would emphacise things like concerts and photoshoots, and de-emphacise panels and showings).

That would probably be a wise direction to take, as you definitely need something that people can't see or do at home. We'll have to see if concerts continue to be viable for anime cons.
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jmays
ANN Associate Editor


Joined: 29 Jul 2002
Posts: 1390
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:56 pm Reply with quote
Elfmaid wrote:
In regards to the FUNimation post, there is a severe flaw in thinking. Heiskell states that by paying $19.99-$24.99 for 3 episodes per disc, retailers (and thereby the customers, since they are the ones who get charged the end amount) are saving money.

$20 for three eps is a little bit cheaper per episode (about a dollar) than $30 for four. But there's no way $25 for three eps is a better deal.
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Elfmaid



Joined: 03 Sep 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 4:34 pm Reply with quote
Agreed. I suppose it's it's possible that they are doing that on the longer series, but so far the mid-length series seems to be hurting. Then again, Fruits Basket, Kiddy Grade, and Tenchi GXP seem to be their only real mid-length series so far. Smile
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Godaistudios



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2028
Location: Albuquerque, NM (the land of entrapment)

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Elfmaid wrote:
In regards to the FUNimation post, there is a severe flaw in thinking. Heiskell states that by paying $19.99-$24.99 for 3 episodes per disc, retailers (and thereby the customers, since they are the ones who get charged the end amount) are saving money. In reality, if you are paying that much for less episodes but the series has to be released on more DVDs, consumers are actually not saving anything, rather to the contrary, and are instead having more space being taken up on their shelves.

Let's look at the math.

Fruits Basket. 26 episodes. 4 dvds @ 29.98 each. Series total cost: $119.92
Kiddy Grade. 24 episodes. 8 dvds @ 24.98 each. Series total cost: $199.84
(15 eps released through disk 5, which leaves 9 more eps. So three more disks to be expected, bringing to 8 dvds, if anyone was curious how I got that number of dvds.)

Where these supposed savings? Keep in mind that both of these series are ones put out by FUNimation. Despite being two episodes less, Kiddy Grade winds up costing $79.92 more.

Yeah. Thanks for the wonderful "logic", FUNi.


Just a quick adjustment... the original MSRP on FB was 39.95 each. Only recently did those prices drop... so comparing original MSRP to KG's original MSRP:

Series total cost: 159.80 - cost per episode? about $6.15

Kiddy Grade MSRP is [email protected] each. comes out to $199.60

price per episode? $8.32

I prefer to break it down per episode because then I can prove the actual cost showing that I'm not saving anything (and yes, it does take up more space with more DVD's than necessary)
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lheiskell
Company Representative


Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 210
Location: Fort Worth, TX

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 11:00 pm Reply with quote
Elfmaid wrote:

Let's look at the math.

Fruits Basket. 26 episodes. 4 dvds @ 29.98 each. Series total cost: $119.92

Yeah. Thanks for the wonderful "logic", FUNi.


Fruits Basket was originally 26 episodes 4 dvds at 39.98. Volume 1 was released in October 2002. Starting last December 2003, Fruits Basket was repriced to $29.98.

My point is to not focus so much on number of episodes per disk and focus on price per episode.

Grab a calculator and price out your recent DVD collections.

Case Closed is 3 episodes at $19.98
Average price per episode $6.66

Now let's look at a 26 episode series released in 7 volumes priced at $29.98 each. The first 3 volumes have 4 episodes and the majority (4) have 3 episodes.

Average price per episode: $8.07

The difference: Case Closed is cheaper by $1.41 per episode

(A 24 episode series release in 7 volumes would be $8.74 per episode or a difference of $2.08)

We are not the money grubbing ogres some people think we are.

It's balancing retail buyers, fandom and economics.
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Godaistudios



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2028
Location: Albuquerque, NM (the land of entrapment)

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 11:25 pm Reply with quote
That was essentially the point of my post above. I don't like marketing leading me to believe that I'm saving money per DVD when I look at how much it costs me per episode. Personally I think they should up it to 4 eps per DVD for that cost and that would give it an even greater selling point. Not only that but the space saved in DVD's would be quite obvious I'd think...


Edit: If they were pricing Kiddy Grade the same way as they were with Case Closed, there wouldn't be the issue. I just think it's inappropriate to market to me as a buyer the purchasing of DVD's at the rate of 3 eps. for 24.95. Once it's fully spread out, I'm paying more for a 24 episode series than I am for the usual 26 episode series. Two episodes less and I'm paying more for it too?
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keiichi000



Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:35 pm Reply with quote
One thing you are not taking into account is how much Funi had to pay for each title. If the licensing company was forcing Funi (Or any Anime Company) to buy the product at a fairly high price per episode, then that cost will also be reflected in the final disc, either by having less eps at a similar price, or costing alot more per disc.

Being that "Case Closed" (aka, Detective Boy Conan) is a fairly large series, I'm sure they were able to negotate a MUCH better price per episode for a long running series, then a one shot 26 or 24 episode series. That's unfortunatly how economics work, the more of a product you have, the better price you can sell it for, since you know that you've nearly guaranteed repeat purchase of the remaining product due to consumer demand.

Just my own 2 Yen * Tosses 2 Yen into the wishing well *

~k1
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Godaistudios



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2028
Location: Albuquerque, NM (the land of entrapment)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:32 pm Reply with quote
While I'm sure that the licensing fees are a factor, I'm sure they have little bearing on the bottom line. In the end, they have to project sales figures and estimate the profitability. Then it's a matter of setting the price so you can gain the most profit possible. That's just the way of capitalism. If it was all about the licensing fees, the prices would never change.

It all comes down to marketing really. On Funi's end, with royalties, advertising costs, and other production costs dubbing, authoring, etc. it still probably only costs them about $6-$7 dollars per DVD to make. I'm not an expert of course, but since wholesale costs for most DVD's are between $15-$20, I can safely assume that the original company wants to make back at least 100% back on what they invested into the product. The costs may be even less, but ultimately, my point is that licensing costs will only play a very minor role, and we should be looking at the big picture.
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