×
  • remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more

Forum - View topic
Full text of Shawne Kleckner's keynote speech from Anime Expo




Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 1178
Location: Atlanta, GA
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:46 pm Reply with quote
Shawne did a good job of summing things up. He's a cool dude. I wish him well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 4409
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:23 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The $30 anime single DVD price point is gone. We can blame the rise of TV on DVD here for this factor, with cheap DVD box sets of seasons of your favorite television shows -- why would I buy 3-4 episodes of an anime series for $30 when I can get the new season of "Lost" for virtually the same price? (Of course, Lost doesn't need to be translated or dubbed, and the broadcaster paid for the episodes and the advertisers paid the broadcasters, but that is invisible to our buying public.)

The change in this type of selling creates a conundrum for the US distributor - they are in a position where the license fees, generally per-episode, remain fairly high, but they have eliminated the initial revenue stream from the single-DVDs that were released in the past, in a market where total sales per unit are in decline. This has led to some hard decisions having to be made, such as whether titles can be dubbed, the type of packaging to be used, changes in authoring to drop replication cost, and so on. Some fans are not happy with this end result, which I'll get into in my next section. Still, to compete in the market you have to remain lean, and it's tough to do so when margins are in decline. Prices will continue to fall. Something has to give here, whether it be in production costs, licensing costs, or just in overhead.


Yeah, I know it's far from the only factor as to the general shrinking of the Region 1 anime market, but I've been suspecting for a while that one of the lesser-stated reasons for the decline is that fans are paying a lot less per episode due to the decline of singles in favour of cheap 13-episode or 26-episode sets, which is obviously better from a consumer's point of view, but it generally means diminishing returns for the domestic licensors.

Certainly, I think the change in release formats is a primary reason that many of the more sub-niche shows are being released subtitled-only, compared to the time when, prior to about 2005, companies might have been more willing to take a risk on a dub when anime fans were paying two or three times as much per episode.

Not that I think there's any going back to singles as the primary release format for most anime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1790
Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:37 pm Reply with quote
So, if I'm reading this correctly, by "a return to [..] the 1990 business model", he means that "the consumer can buy every single new release each month", i.e. very few releases? I'm not sure.

It seems he's saying that the majority of new anime will/should be made available online (near-instantly too), but only a select few will see release on DVD. Hmm, sounds reasonable, and only slightly leaner than today's situation.

I think Shawne's right about the "fans who will never pay, no matter what" and "early-viewers are not necessarily buyers". I see a lot of discussion of new/upcoming anime among (online) friends and acquaintances, but they rarely, if ever, mention purchases. I wonder though if the more hardcore anime fans, who do purchase DVDs, are mostly a subset of the early viewers, or mostly a separate group.

What I would have liked to see him elaborate more on are the shift from single DVD releases to box sets, and the international perspective.
With "it's hard to [..] complain when only a few years back" 26 episodes cost $240 for 8 DVDs, he seems to be saying that $60 is a reasonable price for a box set. I still think it's on the expensive side. A full season anime (~26 eps.) lasts me about as long as a good book or an average game. $30-$45 then should be a good price range for a box set. And I'd like to see single DVD releases and even half-season box sets go the way of the dodo. Either I buy the whole thing at once or not at all, not this wishy-washy trying to wring money out of the fans.

He mentions changing the way Japanese companies or committees view licensing, but what about the American companies? Markets outside N-America being too fragmented to warrant separate translations or releases, licensing an anime to a N-American company in essence means selling it the world-wide English language license. Too often though fans outside N-America are left out in the cold. Online video is blocked to our IPs. DVDs are region coded. Customs are happy to tax our imports. If the anime industry wants to compete successfully with fansub groups, they will have to take off their blinders and give all fans easy access to what they are selling.

Overall, a very good keynote speech. Will other anime industry representatives give such talks as well?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
abstract-alchemist



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 65
Location: Hawaii
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:06 pm Reply with quote
Overall, a very well put together speech. I agree on almost every point made here. My own buying practices actually tend to be limited to Nozomi/Media Blaster sub-only box sets. For me, this is the perfect price point and the best way to release the newer sets.

Stream is a different issues entirely. I'm honestly not sure about the marketing/economic model used here, but it will probably have to be limited to older, well known series rather than the most recent thing.

I would personally prefer downloads for the most recent stuff, DRM free since I use Ubuntu rather than windows.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
HyugaHinata



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 3367
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:09 pm Reply with quote
I can't argue with Shawne's eloquent and well-reasoned points. Smile I wonder if my two planned giant orders will stop anime's decline in the West. Wink If I pick my orders well, and avoid slice-of-life shows (my favourite genre, but also the least successful across the ocean), it won't rock the boat too much. If I buy too much of the wrong shows, it'll give Funi Viz, Nozomi et al the wrong impression.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1790
Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:03 pm Reply with quote
But SlOL anime need support too.. Sad

Hmm, I'll need to add some in my next order then. *checking MyAnime list* But what should I pick then? Hidamari Sketch is not licensed. Neither is Minami-ke. Aria I already have as far as released. Real Drive, not licensed. Lucky Star I want in a box set, not loose DVDs. AzuDai I already have. Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Sketchbook, Kokoro Library, Mahoraba, not licensed. Why is there so little SlOL for sale? Oh, Rumiko and Bamboo Blade I could try. I'll have to watch them first though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
HyugaHinata



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 3367
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Kimiko_0 wrote:
But SlOL anime need support too.. Sad

Hmm, I'll need to add some in my next order then. *checking MyAnime list* But what should I pick then? Hidamari Sketch is not licensed. Neither is Minami-ke. Aria I already have as far as released. Real Drive, not licensed. Lucky Star I want in a box set, not loose DVDs. AzuDai I already have. Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Sketchbook, Kokoro Library, Mahoraba, not licensed. Why is there so little SlOL for sale? Oh, Rumiko and Bamboo Blade I could try. I'll have to watch them first though.


Well, Slice of Life shows move at a much slower pace, putting them outside the interest of many consumers. Most shows these days are designed to the lowest common denominator, simply because that's the most profitable.

Edit: Does anyone have a recording of Shawne's speech? The more YouTube mirrors the better (if we can get his permission), methinks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 4409
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:09 pm Reply with quote
Personally, I'm just going to go ahead and continue buying shows with a slice-of-life element as long as the North American distributors keep selling them (in a physical media format, of course; I'm not interested in not having a prepackaged hard copy), since that's pretty much the only kind of anime that interests me all that much anymore. I'm not going to buy series I'm not interested in just because I think they have a more "mainstream" potential; I think that would be giving the industry the wrong idea, since anime fans have diverse tastes within the anime medium.

It's not like "slice-of-life" is even a singular genre: Aria, Kamichu!, Azumanga Daioh, and Haruhi Suzumiya, just some of the anime I have bought within the past couple of years, all have slice-of-life elements in addition to whatever other narrative elements they offer, but they're all significantly different from one another.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 8196
Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:39 am Reply with quote
He would say that being a "small business model" himself. He also contradicts himself as well by saying he wants to go back to the old days when it was mostly college age and older people buying anime, but then says now it's only kids, who can't qualify for a credit card, are the majority buyers? Well how can they be the majority if they can't get credit? Also when he isn't making a product that many of the older buyers from the 90's want to buy, his statistics to base his conclusion on are some what dubious, and can't be taken seriously. As for his "Doom and Gloom for the anime industry" lament; still denying the existance of FUNimation then? Is that why you want to go back to 1990 again?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
HyugaHinata



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 3367
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:00 am Reply with quote
Tenchi wrote:
Personally, I'm just going to go ahead and continue buying shows with a slice-of-life element as long as the North American distributors keep selling them (in a physical media format, of course; I'm not interested in not having a prepackaged hard copy), since that's pretty much the only kind of anime that interests me all that much anymore. I'm not going to buy series I'm not interested in just because I think they have a more "mainstream" potential; I think that would be giving the industry the wrong idea, since anime fans have diverse tastes within the anime medium.


I'm sure both Shawne and I tip our hats to your support. Smile

Tenchi wrote:
It's not like "slice-of-life" is even a singular genre: Aria, Kamichu!, Azumanga Daioh, and Haruhi Suzumiya, just some of the anime I have bought within the past couple of years, all have slice-of-life elements in addition to whatever other narrative elements they offer, but they're all significantly different from one another.


Good point. I never thought about purely comedic SoL animes because I haven't had much exposure to them beyond Azumanga Daioh.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group