Forum - View topic
ANNCast - The Last Days of Bandai Entertainment USA


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next

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
Stealth00



Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:51 am Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:

Tell that to Aniplex USA supporters/buyers. AoA is probably doing something right (besides having the backing of Aniplex Japan) to have survived more than two years with higher prices and constant cursing by many people.


Presumably, AoA is not paying full license fees to distribute their premium LE import boxes either which may or may not be where most of their profit comes from.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ConanSan



Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 1818
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:53 am Reply with quote
Providing the "free/TV subscription" product via CR helps. Something that Bandai still can't get right (YEah, great idea guys, put Gundam AGE up for streaming for everywhere except the US and UK, that'll make people want to buy it).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Conservative Edward



Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:07 am Reply with quote
1st time poster here just wanting to express my joy upon hearing Mr. Napton talking about how he was introduced to anime by watching "Star Blazers" on channel 2's "Captain Cosmic" show. This too was my introduction to the greatness of anime - watching fuzzy broadcasts from 120 miles away in rural northern California. Without Bob Wilkins a 'country boy' like myself may have never had discovered such wonderful things existed way back almost a 1/4 century before the advent of the internet.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Polycell



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Posts: 4623
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:48 am Reply with quote
Stealth00 wrote:
Presumably, AoA is not paying full license fees to distribute their premium LE import boxes either which may or may not be where most of their profit comes from.
AoA is probably only getting a sliver of profit from imports: they're probably paying wholesale prices for the sets, in addition to shipping costs and customs fees. They're little more than an especially gung-ho importer in this case, not a real licensee.

But on the topic of actual licenses, I believe that it's been officially stated Sentai expects to move about two thousand from any given sub-only release; given the prices RightStuf currently has listed for those, we can surmise they likely gross somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 thousand dollars from such a release. If we assume that AoA grosses half of MSRP as well, they could gross the same amount off a scant 526-632 copies of the Bakemonogatari LE; if they moved the same number of copies, they'd gross $189,980 at that margin. If, on the other hand, we assume AoA grosses the $4.99 under RightStuf's prices(like my Sentai assumption during the current sale), then reaching the $60K border would need only 414 sales and two thousand would gross them $289,980.

All that said, I wouldn't assume that AoA gets any breaks on the per-copy royalties(and might even pay higher percentages on average); in that case their main advantage would probably be Aniplex not demanding any (significant)minimum guarantee(I'm assuming here), which would translate a large up-front cost to one paid over time and avoid the possibility of overbidding.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 2046
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:19 pm Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
Which creates the problem that exist in Japan were you have a bunch of really similar anime because everyone is trying to attract the same group of people willing to pay hundreds of dollars to buy anime. The shows that do really well for Aniplex USA? They are the same shows that do really well ifor Aniplex Japan. You are not going to see a Cowboy Bebop or an Outlaw Star when you have to pay 200 dollars just to own the whole thing.

Name ANY foreign entertainment market that has so far SUCCESSFULLY sustained "mainstream" popularity (in the US) outside of a "niche" audience.

The BBC? No, "Dr. Who" was a niche show for decades, and the new run may be losing steam. "Sherlock" is too limited and has been "replicated" by Hollywood anyway. And most everything else is relegated to PBS.

Hong Kong? Badly dubbed martial arts flicks were a big deal in the 70s - 80s and got a short renaissance last decade, but are once again back in the "niche".

French Films? Chinese? Russian? Scandanavian? Has ANYTHING from there broken out on it's own?

Cartoon Network has maintained for YEARS that anime isn't pulling ratings anymore (if it ever did) so why would anyone think shows that people aren't watching on TV they're just chomping at the bit to BUY? In the "bad old days" anime fans would pay $300 for a Laser Disc box set from Japan with no subs and maybe 20 or so episodes. You need a 10-to-1 BUY ratio MINIMUM to even come close to that now. Granted, the internet probably drops sales figures all around, but I'm hard pressed to believe the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow dream that people keep spouting about sustained "mainstream" success for anime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3085
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:55 pm Reply with quote
HeeroTX wrote:
Charred Knight wrote:
Which creates the problem that exist in Japan were you have a bunch of really similar anime because everyone is trying to attract the same group of people willing to pay hundreds of dollars to buy anime. The shows that do really well for Aniplex USA? They are the same shows that do really well ifor Aniplex Japan. You are not going to see a Cowboy Bebop or an Outlaw Star when you have to pay 200 dollars just to own the whole thing.

Name ANY foreign entertainment market that has so far SUCCESSFULLY sustained "mainstream" popularity (in the US) outside of a "niche" audience.


Nintendo

Keep in mind that the video game market in America collapsed in 1983 to the point were Nintendo had to sell the NES as a Trojan Horse under Rob the Robot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JViwhjWSqJc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNBdNoqXpx0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xijCn6vcRbg

Only the last emphasis the actual games over the Robot that could only be used on two games.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sleverin



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:05 pm Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
Heh, count me among the Texans that liked FLAG. God that series is underrated.


And another title to add on the pile of "Names I've not heard of except on this forum randomly so I'll look into it." Thank you folks for helping expand my anime collection...because my God is there a whole lot of stuff out there I don't want to dig through that I have no idea about. Quality is really wonky on some titles and some of the more "legendary" ones (I'm looking at you Evangelion) can be a bit...well, over lauded.

@Penguintruth

It's too bad that what has been mentioned about Guran Lagann (or however you spell it) got some weird negative feedback (though it was mentioned that it was loudly one crazy dude). Personally, I would love a stripped down, sub only version (because I'm an elitist apparently and only do subs) for less money. I'm not going to watch it with dub, ever...it just doesn't do it for me. The reduced pricing is a great idea, especially for someone like me who doesn't have much cash and would like a cheaper option. It sucks that it would seem to punish the dub folks, but hey, there's more work/data on the discs, what're you gonna do?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2148
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Polycell wrote:
Stealth00 wrote:
Presumably, AoA is not paying full license fees to distribute their premium LE import boxes either which may or may not be where most of their profit comes from.
AoA is probably only getting a sliver of profit from imports: they're probably paying wholesale prices for the sets, in addition to shipping costs and customs fees. They're little more than an especially gung-ho importer in this case, not a real licensee.

But on the topic of actual licenses, I believe that it's been officially stated Sentai expects to move about two thousand from any given sub-only release; given the prices RightStuf currently has listed for those, we can surmise they likely gross somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 thousand dollars from such a release. If we assume that AoA grosses half of MSRP as well, they could gross the same amount off a scant 526-632 copies of the Bakemonogatari LE; if they moved the same number of copies, they'd gross $189,980 at that margin. If, on the other hand, we assume AoA grosses the $4.99 under RightStuf's prices(like my Sentai assumption during the current sale), then reaching the $60K border would need only 414 sales and two thousand would gross them $289,980.

All that said, I wouldn't assume that AoA gets any breaks on the per-copy royalties(and might even pay higher percentages on average); in that case their main advantage would probably be Aniplex not demanding any (significant)minimum guarantee(I'm assuming here), which would translate a large up-front cost to one paid over time and avoid the possibility of overbidding.

Just for people's knowledge the concept of "wholesale price" doesn't work the same as it does in the US.
Everyone at all points on the chain pay the full price, and then they make profit off fees for "services" like distribution, warehousing, etc...
In the end the money ends up splitting up similarly but it's a different philosophy.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:44 pm Reply with quote
Polycell wrote:
... If we assume that AoA grosses half of MSRP as well, they could gross the same amount off a scant 526-632 copies of the Bakemonogatari LE; if they moved the same number of copies, they'd gross $189,980 at that margin. ...

But in a niche market where 2,000 is considered a reasonable sales volume for regular sub-only releases, if you produce enough to be able to move the same number of copies, maybe its not a very limited edition anymore.

Anyway, that gives a good rough benchmark ~ if there's a title that can sell from 500 to 1,000 at the ultra-premium price point by piggybacking on a Japanese disk production run that includes English language subtitles, and putting together English language packaging ... and would only expect to sell 2,000 at a more mainstream price point, the ultra-premium price point makes a lot of sense.

If its only going to sell 250 units to the premium price collectors, then it doesn't make as much sense.

Stealth00 wrote:
... Presumably, AoA is not paying full license fees to distribute their premium LE import boxes either which may or may not be where most of their profit comes from.

There's not much point getting lost in the weeds on the specific details of whether the contract is a rights contract with an MG and residual royalties or some kind of distributor contract with a fee paid to AoA for each unit sold ... what matters in the end is the slice of money AoA is netting and the slice of money that the Japanese rights owner is netting. If anything, to get the right to distribute the title with such a small volume, we'd expect that one way or another the Japanese rights owner is getting higher rights income per unit sold.

As far as explaining AoA's success selling runs of 500 to 1,000 units at ultra-premium prices, remember that the premium to their full cost of production to their own wholesale price is even steeper, since they are not selling those in Wal*Mart, they are selling them online, with smaller discount between MSRP and wholesale price. At those prices, there's no particular need to assume lower income per unit to the Japanese rights owner to explain how they can make a reasonable income on a run of 500-1,000 units.


Last edited by agila61 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Animehermit



Joined: 05 Aug 2007
Posts: 963
Location: The Argama
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:

Nintendo

Keep in mind that the video game market in America collapsed in 1983 to the point were Nintendo had to sell the NES as a Trojan Horse under Rob the Robot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JViwhjWSqJc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNBdNoqXpx0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xijCn6vcRbg

Only the last emphasis the actual games over the Robot that could only be used on two games.


Good point, but you could also argue that the Japanese gaming market is much different today than it was in the 1980s. A lot of games released over there never see the light of day over here.

You could also say that, besides a few exceptions western games in generally do better over here than Japanese ones do.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sleverin



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:58 pm Reply with quote
I still need to finish this podcast but I loved when Robert Napton was talking about the production values of their first recording studios. "The microphones were coconuts" was fantastic, and Justin's (I think it was him) reaction of "Oh God" of appallation to the awesome low tech operation that was going on was priceless. I was expecting Napton to say, "Hell, we were using tin cans with wax paper over them so the tin cans wouldn't sound so damn hollow and if someone had to express loud emotion they wouldn't blow that thing we called a mic because damn those tin cans were hard to set up for recording."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zump



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 126
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Great podcast. To say that Bandai Entertainment USA will be missed is an understatement. While it was active, it released some of the best titles ever to reach US shores: Cowboy Bebop, The Big O, Gundam (in its various incarnations), Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Planetes, Wolf's Rain, Sword of the Stranger, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Gurren Lagann, and FLAG. Not to mention their dubs were among the finest on the market. It's a shame that dubs for shows like Bebop, Big O, and Wolf's Rain didn't become the gold standard for other dubs to aspire to be.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shiratori1



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 300
Location: Los Angeles
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:34 pm Reply with quote
Getting back to the point of this response page (this is about Bandai Entertainment USA, not Aniplex and their pricing), after listening to this episode, I was somewhat disappointed. While I appreciate Robert Napton providing his insider insight into Bandai Entertainment and their rise and fall, I felt that it was too one-sided and placed 99% of the blame and fault for the company's failures on the execs and staff of Bandai Japan (typical response from those who were involved with a failed venture: "It wasn't my fault, it was everyone else's fault!") Rolling Eyes . It would be better if we had both Napton's commentary as well as Bandai Japan's side of the story with regards to how Bandai Entertainment USA did over the years, what went wright, what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and why it had to end (this would allow people to come up with their own conclusion about the ordeal, as opposed to having one biased view and opinion that is packaged and put out there as if it is the absolute truth). In my opinion, like in all debates, the truth within the debate over what happened to Bandai Entertainment USA and why it didn't do well lies somewhere in the middle, and due to a lack of information we can't at this point find that "middle" (hopefully we will be able to at some point). Ultimately, it was was a sad day within the U.S. Anime community when Bandai Entertainment made their ceasing of operations known (I couldn't believe it when I heard it), and hopefully, at some point, some of the popular titles that they had (Lucky Star, K-ON! season 1, Suzumiya Haruhi) will be rescued by other companies.

Last edited by Shiratori1 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3706
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:38 pm Reply with quote
Consider me amused that somebody asked about Banner of the Stars III. While I've always been a bit disappointed that it never made it over here, I also knew that there was no way the sales of Banner of the Stars II could justify it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zac
Subscriber
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 7912
Location: Anime News Network Technodrome
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Shiratori1 wrote:
It would be better if we had both Napton's commentary as well as Bandai Japan's side of the story with regards to how Bandai Entertainment USA did over the years, what went wright, what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and why it had to end (this would allow people to come up with their own conclusion about the ordeal, as opposed to having one biased view and opinion that is packaged and put out there as if it is the absolute truth).


Never going to happen. Bandai Corporate isn't going to bother commenting to anyone, especially in the American press, about why they shuttered a US division over a year ago.

If Napton's commentary - which he couched firmly as his opinion as a first-hand source on the issue - isn't enough for you, you're welcome to dismiss it as "biased and one-sided" but saying that somehow this is being pushed on you as "the absolute truth", as though Bob never said "this is my opinion" over and over again, is mischaracterizing the tone of the interview entirely. If you can't trust a first-hand source who was literally there during the entire ordeal and absolutely need Bandai Japan's take on it to trust any of the information, then I can't meet whatever your personal standards are.

Quote:
In my opinion, like in all debates, the truth within the debate over what happened to Bandai Entertainment USA and why it didn't do well lies somewhere in the middle, and due to a lack of information we can't at this point find that "middle" (hopefully we will be able to at some point).


The attitude that there are always two sides, those two sides are always equal, and equally trustworthy and that the "truth literally always lies in the middle between these two viewpoints" is why our news media sucks so hard and is so bad at actually finding the truth. This is how CNN reports on things - "man says sky is blue, but others say sky is neon yellow. Who's right? Well, the truth could be somewhere in the middle!" It's of no value to anyone.

But I think this is all kind of moot when it comes to this interview - it's the first hand account of what went down, from one man's perspective. That's what the interview is. It isn't being billed as the definitive version of events, but Robert has given me zero reason (and any reasonable person zero reason) to think he's wildly spinning things in his favor, or not telling the truth, or otherwise not a reliable source. I stand by the interview as a perfectly valid account of what happened. If, say, Hell froze over and Bandai decided that they wanted to offer some kind of counterpoint, I'd certainly accommodate them, but as I said, that isn't going to happen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
Page 6 of 9

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group