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The Anime Economy - Part 2: Shiny Discs


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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 7305
Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:17 pm Reply with quote
I suppose that, as a collector, I had many years of good, cheap collecting. If that era is over, I guess I'll just have to cut back. I don't have a lot of space for more DVDs or Blu-Rays, anyway.
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Scamp



Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Posts: 96
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:18 pm Reply with quote
The one piece of information that jumped out to me in this was that the performers of the OP get the same cut as the guy who created the bloody anime. That strikes me as incredibly bizarre. Don't the music companies earn money through improved sales of the songs by being featured in the anime?
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jrnemanich



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 238
Location: Colorado Springs
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:38 pm Reply with quote
Explains why I have no money. Like Penguintruth said, I guess my days of getting whole series for less than $1 an episode is dying quickly.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1923
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:39 pm Reply with quote
Scamp wrote:
The one piece of information that jumped out to me in this was that the performers of the OP get the same cut as the guy who created the bloody anime. That strikes me as incredibly bizarre. Don't the music companies earn money through improved sales of the songs by being featured in the anime?


Yes, but the music companies are usually part of the production committee and contribute a large part of the investment to make the anime in the first place, and the 1.7% comes from that member of the production committee's profits.

The music companies invest in the anime to help promote the songs, and the artists get paid for the work as well out of the revenue. There's nothing unfair in the end.
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Shenl742



Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 1491
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
This change in consumer behavior hit anime particularly hard, since during the industry's heyday, it depended on people collecting multiple volumes of a show they'd never seen. The idea of expecting people to commit up to $200 to collect a show they might not even like, in retrospect, seems like insanity. Nobody loves every show that much, and indeed, most fans got stuck with a large, expensive pile of regret.


Fushigi Yugi says "Hi"

:Cries:

Another great column Justin. Also a bit sobering
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Polycell



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Posts: 4423
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:48 pm Reply with quote
First off, when do we get Part 2 Part 2? Wink

Back from typo-land, there is still one more direction for licensees to go if they have to push up prices to appease the production committee: near-Japan releases. That is, rather than adding downtime or removing features to prevent reverse importation, let the money price do the work and give us all the extras the Japanese get(translated into English, of course) and release the volumes as close to the Japanese release date as possible(though I still want a dub for those prices). Forbidding the original retailers from shipping the product straight to Japan(a la Aniplex USA's Madoka release) and the cost of international postage should actually help keep the prices a touch lower, come to think of it...
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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Well, yet another interesting article to say the least. Smart collectors know when to buy/collect their DVD volumes and manga goods so prices is one but many issues.
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superdry



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 1309
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:54 pm Reply with quote
=D Another informative article. Good stuff.

I noticed it wasn't in this part, maybe in the next part, but do the production committees still need to pay TV stations for the late-night anime slots? How much does that usually cost and how much of factor is it to recouping costs?

Quote:

In fact, there were a few experiments to drop the price to a more affordable amount, but that usually resulted in a slight increase in sales -- not enough to make up for the drop in revenue.


What's interesting is that there seems to be another experiment going about with a little cheaper pricing for some Winter 2012 shows.

I wonder if any long-term price drops will happen because DVDs are becoming less and less relevant to the late-night anime market and blu-ray production costs are dropping too.

Sympohgear's MSRP is 6300 yen. Ano Natsu has a cheaper regular edition BD release (of course, most otaku will buy the limited edition). Bodacious Space Pirates has a very peculiar release - 13 DVDs with 2 episodes being released twice as fast compared to the BD release, but the total MSRP is roughly the same 495000 yen (not terrible considering it is a 2-cour show).

Any information on some Japanese publishers releasing some of their shows as boxsets initially instead of singles? Fate/Zero and Black Rock Shooter (there are singles, but a boxset is also being released at the same time) come to mind. Another experiment by the Japanese?

Quote:
Media is a specialty market, not a mass-market one, so prices have stayed astronomically high.


Very true. I always bring up how CDs in Japan are pretty much double the price here (possibly triple now since a lot of major record stuff sells for like $10 at Best Buy) when people wonder why anime is so expensive in Japan. It's not just anime...but most media.
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ABCBTom



Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:56 pm Reply with quote
I'm sure this is kind of an obvious question, but I'm assuming the necessity of funding-by-DVD has pretty much reduced the number of 26 episode shows, and we're getting 12 or 11 episode series instead?

And with shows like Spice and Wolf and Shakugan no Shana with multiple seasons that are broken up, is that an effect of a show being continued basically at the point it makes more financial sense to make more? The delay is waiting for the costs to recoup or for the show to become profitable enough to continue?
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Banjo



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 634
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:25 pm Reply with quote
I like collecting anime DVDs if its a complete set and of course an anime that I like, I'm one of those people who watch the things they like over and over again Cool

but hardly anything these days interests me.. while I like figures and such jstuff yet I'm not into buying them.
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daichi383



Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 313
Location: England
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:25 pm Reply with quote
Although i was generally aware of most of this already i'm glad you cleared a few things up for me. As someone actively working towards making enough money to eventually finance projects myself these articles are really eye opening. Not enough to discourage me but to encourage me to work harder Wink
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 18350
Location: Toronto, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:32 pm Reply with quote
Even before reading this article, my opinion of Japanese anime buyers had changed dramatically. When I first got into buying anime DVDs and found out what Japanese consumers were paying, my attitude was, "you suckers, why are you letting yourselves get ripped off like that?" Then as I started to form an understanding of how anime actually gets made, I was all, "Thank you, Japanese otaku. Without your willingness to pay high prices, a lot of the anime I love would never even get made."

And that's where I continue to be today.
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relentlessflame



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 184
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:05 pm Reply with quote
Scamp wrote:
The one piece of information that jumped out to me in this was that the performers of the OP get the same cut as the guy who created the bloody anime. That strikes me as incredibly bizarre. Don't the music companies earn money through improved sales of the songs by being featured in the anime?

The wording of that was a bit particular. It says "assuming they weren't made just for the show", which is actually what happens 90%+ of the time these days (often even performed by the show's voice actors). In the other cases, where they're licensing an existing song for their show, I think the assumption would be that the song is a key part of the marketing strategy (and they want to license that song rather than writing their own), so it's worth paying a share.
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The Grey Ghost



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Cary, NC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:09 pm Reply with quote
This series of articles feels like it was a big undertaking... And every bit of it is appreciated! It's handy to have a source that will spell it out in one (or three) shots to help answer some of the most common questions.

I'm sure most fans may not catch this series on their own (tl;dr) but whenever someone asks about anime home video economics, I'll likely link them here.
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smapdi



Joined: 19 Jun 2005
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:09 pm Reply with quote
In 1999, I actually paid rental pricing for a crummy American comedy film from Amazon.com, which had recently enabled the average consumer to blow money on things like that by listing rental sales alongside the general new releases. It was $78, discounted from like $109 or something -- what a bargain. I was 12 years old and I'm pretty sure that was more money than I'd spent on any one thing before. It wasn't a good decision, but I guess it established me as the wacky collector I've been ever since then.

I always wondered if the high DVD prices in Japan had anything to do with rentals, since I just knew CD rentals are (were?) big there. I have ex-rental copies of a couple out-of-print anime CD's that I bought on eBay: the Saint Tail best of collection and Megumi Hayashibara's first 3" single, Yakusoku da yo. They are my stickered treasures.

Thank you for this feature!
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