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NEWS: Japan's Animation Home Video Sales Decrease Again by 8% in 2023




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costmuffled



Joined: 28 Dec 2019
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2024 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Streaming options are getting more and more polished and convenient over time, so this is an expected trend. The upswing on BD sales and the downturn on DVDs are also not surprising, as people are turning to higher resolution offerings overall.

Last edited by costmuffled on Mon Apr 22, 2024 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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YagamiBlackstone255



Joined: 10 May 2023
Posts: 105
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2024 3:05 pm Reply with quote
Bocchi The Rock needs a new season to save the Blu Ray market!
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Rob J.



Joined: 26 Apr 2023
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2024 6:05 pm Reply with quote
costmuffled wrote:
Streaming options are getting more and more polished and convenient over time, so this is an expected trend. The upswing on BD sales and the downturn on DVDs are also not surprising, as people are turning to higher resolution offerings overall.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the start of a trend. Crunchyroll not honoring Funimation digital codes has certainly shown that anime fans, who were, quite frankly, among streaming's early adopters overall for everything and not just their anime hobby, have finally learned that download codes are meaningless vaporware and you don't actually own a movie or show unless you own a physical copy of it. If that really sinks in, this could represent a ceiling for streaming in which it truly does represent a replacement for cable and not a replacement for physical media.
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It's not as if the Vinyl Revival hasn't already proven a continuing interest by fans in physical copies of music. And, of course, the fact that digital has never really caught on with the American comics crowd.
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TiagoCosta



Joined: 02 Jan 2021
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2024 7:22 pm Reply with quote
Most production committees dropped DVD format all together on their releases, over the last year, drop on overall sales mostly come from that which also end up offsetting the cost of having to support 2 different formats.

It's pretty much flat yoy all things considered.
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WatcherZer



Joined: 29 Dec 2016
Posts: 282
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2024 7:32 pm Reply with quote
Are the foreign sales adjusted for currency changes?
Yens down about 15% year on year and 40% over the last 3 years against the Pound.
Yens down about 15.5% year on year and 49% over the last 3 years against the Dollar.
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costmuffled



Joined: 28 Dec 2019
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2024 8:23 pm Reply with quote
WatcherZer wrote:
Are the foreign sales adjusted for currency changes?
Yens down about 15% year on year and 40% over the last 3 years against the Pound.
Yens down about 15.5% year on year and 49% over the last 3 years against the Dollar.


Wouldn't a depressed yen be good for sales abroad? If my $1 can buy 15% more anime, why wouldn't it? Still, if the item count hasn't changed, I can see how that would erode the bottom line. Add inflation for a double-whammy.
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Greboruri



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 383
Location: QBN, NSW, Australia
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2024 2:21 am Reply with quote
When I was over there in March/April last year, found it really difficult to find new blu-ray releases. Most of the electronics stores no longer stocked any anime releases. Yodobashi Camera used to stock tons of CDs, DVD and blu-ray, but even their Akihabara store had none. The only electronics store where I could find the titles I wanted was the Ikebukuro branch of Bic Camera. I think it was earlier this year or last last year that even Bic Camera stopped stocking CDs, DVD and blu-ray. I think the only places you can find new anime discs is Animate and Tower Records plus smaller chains like Lammtarra.
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 1109
Location: Spain, EU
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2024 3:55 am Reply with quote
It's a phenomenon in a global scale, not just in Japan. Here, the spaces used in stores for DVD/BR are now full of Funkos™ or merchandising. It's simply than in Japan they still hang to the physical releases.
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SinisterOracle



Joined: 13 May 2023
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2024 7:06 am Reply with quote
It’s disappointing to continue hearing this, especially since physical media is the only way to 100% ensure you own a copy of your favorite anime show/movie/ova to watch whenever you want. It’s also the only way (at least in the US) to ensure that you receive uncensored content (if it was made available that way). Crunchyroll still censors content on their service as does the iTunes Store and HIDIVE. I’m not sure about the Google Play Store or any others but I imagine they also censor content.

As someone else mentioned, buying anything digitally is akin to leasing or renting it. DRM protections are anti consumer and are there to protect the IP of the business. You do not own any digital movies, tv shows, music, books, etc. If you download the content onto your computer and then back it up to an offline hard drive, you can generally keep it available (unless you lose your hard drive).

I’m grateful Japan continuing Blu-ray releases for most of the new anime. I’ve bought a few from Amazon Japan and CDJapan over the years. If the production committees would stop overcharging for the physical media releases, I’m sure they’d sell more long term.
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 2093
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2024 8:43 am Reply with quote
Rob J. wrote:
And, of course, the fact that digital has never really caught on with the American comics crowd.


From what I’ve heard, most who follow comic sales and such attribute that to poor marketing (at least for DC and Marvel, not sure about Image and the others) on the companies’ part. I’m sure there must be at least a noticeable amount of people using it. I know the first Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) series generally did low physical sales but did quite well digitally.
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Rob J.



Joined: 26 Apr 2023
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2024 11:06 am Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
Rob J. wrote:
And, of course, the fact that digital has never really caught on with the American comics crowd.


From what I’ve heard, most who follow comic sales and such attribute that to poor marketing (at least for DC and Marvel, not sure about Image and the others) on the companies’ part. I’m sure there must be at least a noticeable amount of people using it. I know the first Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) series generally did low physical sales but did quite well digitally.


Well, Amazon has been phasing out Comixology over the past year or so, allegedly in favor of folding it into Kindle, but certain aspects of Kindle aren't really conducive to reading comics digitally, so if Amazon is getting out of digital comics, it likely isn't because of any marketing issues. Marvel has even had digital codes in most issues of every comic they publish for the past decade or so.
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A digital proselytizer on the site I'm a regular on complains that individual digital issues are priced the same as their print counterparts -- which I suppose is a fair complaint if you ignore that pricing digital new comics substantially cheaper than their print editions, it would kill brick-and-mortar comics outright[1], but Marvel and DC have their own all-you-can-read subscription services like manga does and publishers still publish print comics, likely meaning that digital has plateaued.
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Anyway, all of this is to say that the potential collectibles market exists here in the US for print manga and it's roughly analogous to the standard comics market -- even though print manga is largely purchased through bookstores and websites because LCSes are largely hostile to them. Print manga is here to stay and digital isn't going to change that. That Beckett has started to grade them itself indicates that either Beckett thinks the demand actually is there to treat manga as a collectible or the demand has been so great for grading manga that it already is there. I think that it's more likely to be the latter given the logistics and setup costs to add them to their grading service.
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[1] Not to mention that any argument for pricing digital downloads of individual issues more cheaply than their print counterparts dodges the issue that movie and TV downloads are priced at roughly the same as their shiny disc counterparts.
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juaifan



Joined: 20 Mar 2021
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2024 11:30 am Reply with quote
Rob J. wrote:
And, of course, the fact that digital has never really caught on with the American comics crowd.


In terms of raw numbers, no, but remember a lot of the non-Dogman and similar books US comic sales are non-returnable floppies. And those numbers are boosted even more due to the variant cover speculator market where stores have to order a certain amount of unreturnable product in order to get a few copies of said variant covers to flip to those individuals. I would honestly guess that in terms of people who actually read comics, digital is probably closer to the reality of the true numbers than 170,000 copies of Thundercats #1 sitting on store shelves because comic shops needed to order a few thousand copies of it to get one of the 100 or whatever variant covers it ended up getting at the end of the day. I'd guess at least half the physical comic market is held up by those kinds of practices so there's no way digital could ever replace it.
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Rob J.



Joined: 26 Apr 2023
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2024 1:40 pm Reply with quote
juaifan wrote:
Rob J. wrote:
And, of course, the fact that digital has never really caught on with the American comics crowd.


In terms of raw numbers, no, but remember a lot of the non-Dogman and similar books US comic sales are non-returnable floppies. And those numbers are boosted even more due to the variant cover speculator market where stores have to order a certain amount of unreturnable product in order to get a few copies of said variant covers to flip to those individuals. I would honestly guess that in terms of people who actually read comics, digital is probably closer to the reality of the true numbers than 170,000 copies of Thundercats #1 sitting on store shelves because comic shops needed to order a few thousand copies of it to get one of the 100 or whatever variant covers it ended up getting at the end of the day. I'd guess at least half the physical comic market is held up by those kinds of practices so there's no way digital could ever replace it.


Marvel is certainly hoping that that's the truth, since they're still including codes long after DC stopped including them. And no other pubilsher offers them. Variant covers are a non-starter, btw, since they're primarily ratio variants that vary from a few dozen copies to a few hundred and rarely more than 3000. The glut of variants has pushed the retailer/mail-order variants down to almost non-existence except for a few websites that are mostly centered on a few artists like Nate Szerdy. It's a sub-market that's only a small portion of the comics market and while those profits certainly help, but they aren't the be-all and end-all of comics' survival because many, if not most, smaller shops get the just the main A covers anyway because they can't afford to play the variant game and get covers that won't move.
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Sure, other physical media keep trying to experiment with variants and only Taylor Swift has really pulled it off with the multicolor variants of her recent albums with their differing bonus songs and whatnot, but that's Taylor Swift, whose fanbase is kinda crazy. The movie biz doesn't typically do many variants beyond retailer variants that have different bonus merchandise (pins, mini-Funkos and the like) and variant covers have gone by the wayside except for re-releases and the occasional big release like Barbie. When demand stabilizes, even at a lower threshold, variants tend to go by the wayside because the income becomes predictable again. Variant-addict publisher Dynamite is even experimenting with this via its new James Bond miniseries, which they're releasing with no variants, which itself suggests that the effectiveness of variants may have diminished to no longer being effective. Heck, even cassettes are making something of a comeback due to Guardians of the Galaxy.
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To bring it back to the topic of anime on blu-ray, blu-ray's slight increase in sales this past year suggests more that physical media anime buyers are making their final switch to blu-ray and the DVD format itself is in its death spiral. None of that proves that physical media is either dead or dying, just continuing its transformation into predominantly new releases because everybody's either finished upgrading their back catalog or are buying their physical media from deep discounter websites -- via mostly Amazon.
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And, of course, as the streamers find out that they can't carry everything and have been ruthlessly dropping niche titles and flops from their offerings, demand for physical media is likely to increase again. Probably not to the heyday of pre-streaming, but the Kindle hasn't exactly finished off print books, either.
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