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NEWS: Crunchyroll Announces Partnership with Sumitomo to Create Company to Co-Produce Anime


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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:41 am Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
At this point is there anywhere to go but down?


I still remember a few years (decades!?) ago asking a friend about the future of compute graphics and his answer was "256 colors on screen (VGA) is good enough, you do not really need more". So my answer to your question would be "You haven't seen anything yet" Very Happy
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:03 pm Reply with quote
mangamuscle wrote:
Quote:
my answer to your question would be "You haven't seen anything yet"


If you want to talk technology, well, given what I have seen to date, I won't argue with you. My first "media" player was a 78 rpm record player and my first computer had four meg of ram.

However, this is a question of markets. As was discussed in the Answerman thread on a "glut", the Japanese anime market seems to be reaching a saturation point. Also we have already seen the North American market crater once. I hope that the current level or something close to it is sustainable but there are doubts. We will just have to wait and see.

It is not like we can do any thing but buy what we like anyway.
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jree78



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:26 pm Reply with quote
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:27 pm Reply with quote
Blackiris_ wrote:
Well, we live in different times now. Anime won't be able to reach western mainstream fans so easily, so I don't think they would try making something very different from what western anime fans are used to. And making anime for an established western audience seems much better to me than doing more otaku catering stuff.

But if they stopped doing Anime that catered to Otakus the only Animes left on CR would be shows like Naruto, Attack on Titan and a few others. A lot of those Otaku shows are popular among western Anime fans.
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yuna49



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:13 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
At this point is there anywhere to go but down? Having witnessed the prior boom and bust and a similar scenario in other fandoms, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I think that's much too pessimistic and perhaps to tied to contemporary Western markets. The market for anime throughout the Asia-Pacific region is large and growing quickly as incomes rise.

I've always thought that the model of Japanese producers selling rights to foreign licensors will become less and less relevant as global streaming becomes the dominant method for anime distribution. I'm sure the Japanese producers were happy to let the Crunchyrolls and Funimations take the risk of developing the streaming marketplace, but now that it is obviously successful, the need for foreign middlemen has declined. I would hardly be surprised if, a decade from now, the anime marketplace is dominated by a few global production-cum-streaming services largely centered in Japan.

Adding a few more language subtitle tracks and streaming it from a central location is a much more cost-efficient model than licensing rights to foreign entities, and one that puts control over the content in Japanese hands. Dubs and physical media will become less and less relevant for all but the most popular properties. If CR sees that as the future as well, better to get in on the ground floor and make themselves relevant rather than losing out to the Daisukis and Crackles of the world. I know that's not a popular opinion here at ANN where so many people are still attached to physical media, but I do think streaming is the future.
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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:06 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
However, this is a question of markets. As was discussed in the Answerman thread on a "glut", the Japanese anime market seems to be reaching a saturation point.


I think the anime market is far from reaching saturation point, Crunchy and Funi would both need to have reached a point where their number of new subscribers is smaller than the number of people that did not renewed theirs or at the very least that annual increase in subscriptions is smaller than the previous year.

IMO the reason is that even with all cliches you can find nowadays in anime, it is still by far a breath of fresh air when you compare it with the animation you can see in cable TV.

Quote:
Also we have already seen the North American market crater once. I hope that the current level or something close to it is sustainable but there are doubts.


But we are far, far from that repeating itself and you get the bonus that if streaming shows license prices skyrocket beyond profitability, those prices will fall without the drag of an inventory of discs you can no longer sell.

We will know anime has "succeed" when other media companies take note and try to imitate anime aesthetics (probably with the same success of Marvel's mangaverse).
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:42 pm Reply with quote
@yuna49

I am interested in the health of the Japanese industry since that is where anime comes from. I am interested in the North American anime industry since that is how it gets to me. Any interest in other parts of the world are mostly a matter of curiosity and only to the extent they effect the health of the Japanese industry. I do have doubts about increased global demand for anime. If this becomes essential to the anime industry, it may cause content to be altered to appeal to additional markets. This may not be a bad thing, but I have serious doubts.

I understand what you are saying about Japan centralizing anime streaming in Daisuki and similar sources but I see a couple of problems. The first is the simple question of bandwidth. If every thing comes from a single location you have to be prepared for a majority of your fan base to try to log on at the same time. Not terribly unlikely with the release of a new show.

The second problem is how do you monetize this from Japan. While Crunchyroll and Funimation both have subscribers, according to the figures given the vast majority of viewers are ad supported. Of course computers can tailor the ads to the location but you still have to have representatives in every local to sell the local ads. This is apparently the problem CR has in Europe and why they have been so slow to stream there. This is why I think CR and other North American streaming sites will remain valuable to the Japanese industry for the foreseeable future. Which in my case is about ten years maximum.

@mangamuscle

I don't doubt that Crunchyroll and Funimation have not yet reached everyone possible. I do think that overall views is a better measure of this than paid subscriptions though. I even suspect that each year for some time they will get new potential customers as more people get broadband capable of reliable streaming.

However the "glut" I was speaking of was in content not viewers. Even here among fans there are already complaints of too much content to keep up with. The existing fan base both here and in Japan gets diluted more each year as each person has to decide what to follow and what not. Eventually some shows will fail in one or both locations as everyone is too busy watching something else. I expect CR will try to buy into shows that would have been made anyway rather than initiating even more anime to compete for viewers. This is probably not a bad thing.
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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:48 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
I don't doubt that Crunchyroll and Funimation have not yet reached everyone possible. I do think that overall views is a better measure of this than paid subscriptions though. I even suspect that each year for some time they will get new potential customers as more people get broadband capable of reliable streaming.


Views are important when they bring advertising revenue, otherwise it is mostly irrelevant* if a paid subscriber watches every show or less than five.

*it is relevant to determine posible demand for the show on disc.

Quote:
However the "glut" I was speaking of was in content not viewers. Even here among fans there are already complaints of too much content to keep up with. The existing fan base both here and in Japan gets diluted more each year as each person has to decide what to follow and what not.


As long as the fandom continues to grow, that is not a problem. People that can only watch less than five shows will continue to watch them. Think about anime as an invasive species, there is not much to compete with it (Avatar, Club Winx and maybe RWBY which I have not watched), so thanks to streaming and improving internet speeds/less caps more people will be able to watch anime since many are tired watching more of what the local media produces *insert Huey Lewis and the news "I want a new drug"* Of course every year there are also people that get tired of anime, but as long as the net influx is positive, the future is dandy. In the long run it is the local media who should be nervous (just as walmart has finally started getting nervous about amazon).

Quote:
Eventually some shows will fail in one or both locations as everyone is too busy watching something else. I expect CR will try to buy into shows that would have been made anyway rather than initiating even more anime to compete for viewers. This is probably not a bad thing.


While an anime series might fail if there is not enough disc sales, I think we are at the moment in a shift in the revenue system of said productions. If the number of shows keeps growing each season, it would mean that overseas stream revenue (china, americas and europe) has reachen such a point that they can at least pay for production costs, that seems be the case for the latest series from Rumiko Takahashi that was popular in China.
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Mizuki-Takashima



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 7:54 am Reply with quote
Late to the party so I apologize in advance if this has already been brought up.

It sounds like they are trying to make anime that appeals to a global audience, instead of a strictly Japanese audience.

While I'm always advocating for broadening the anime fandom and making shows that could appeal to a more general audience, I'm worried that they'll just try to make anime based off what they think foreigners would want.

That is such a broad and vague thing to revolve production around. How do they know what foreign fans want? How do they know what fans from each non-Japanese-nation like in an anime?

Ah well. At least crunchyroll is taking further steps to help fund more anime. Good on them! Smile
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yuna49



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:10 am Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
I understand what you are saying about Japan centralizing anime streaming in Daisuki and similar sources but I see a couple of problems. The first is the simple question of bandwidth.

Bandwidth isn't really an issue today. You'd use a global network of servers with regional load-balancing and similar features. Heck even someone like me can set up virtual servers in Tokyo, London, California, and other places from companies like Linode. Building global streaming infrastructure might be something that appeals to Sumitomo.

Quote:
The second problem is how do you monetize this from Japan. While Crunchyroll and Funimation both have subscribers, according to the figures given the vast majority of viewers are ad supported. Of course computers can tailor the ads to the location but you still have to have representatives in every local to sell the local ads.

Or you rely heavily on global brands like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Nike, Proctor & Gamble, etc. All of these have appeared in the opening banners of anime shows I've watched. And maintaining an advertising sales department in New York is a lot less expensive than running Funi or CR.

Quote:
This is apparently the problem CR has in Europe and why they have been so slow to stream there.

Have any links to that, Alan? I'd be curious to read them. I would have guessed any problems CR has in Europe have more to do with the size of the audience for anime there and its being scattered across multiple countries speaking different languages. Nor does it seem limited to Crunchyroll. I see UK people routinely complaining here about the lack of shows licensed for their country compared to the US.

Like you, my time horizon is probably another decade as well, but I'm hoping for more!
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Spotlesseden



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:35 am Reply with quote
I don't see anything about this. We just have more anime and more options. Unless more options means bad for some people.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:29 am Reply with quote
@mangamuscle

Look at the figures provided by Crunchyroll in the article, their support still come overwhelmingly from ad supported views. A couple of pod casts back, Funimation said that the Japanese were strongly interested in viewing numbers for simulcast shows. CR hasn't said but it is probably the same for them.

It remains to be seen just how much anime fandom has increased. CR is clearly showing a large increase in viewership but it is not clear if this is new fans or simply their increased penetration into the existing fan base. Zac has said a couple of times that the average anime fan only lasts two years. (I would love to know where that statistic came from and which form of average) This means that every year there has to be a lot of new fans to cover the turnover.

I suspect there is a limit to how many fans will be active at one time. If anime fans increased without limit, anime would become mainstream and I don't see that happening. Probably not a good thing anyway.

@yuna49

Sorry, I may have used the wrong word. In the sense of increased resources that is still equivalent to bandwidth. Such a network is not free, right?? The problem is not providing a worldwide stream. It is providing a reliable one and getting a worldwide revenue source from it.

Keep in mind that we are being told that CR and Funi are in a bidding war for streaming rights. That means significant money going back to Japan. In order to justify taking shows away from North American companies a centralized Japanese site would have to cover expenses and replace the money the NA companies would pay. I could see increased Japanese investment in NA companies before that.

Japanese companies do not have a stellar record in trying to sell anime directly in North America. Aniplex appears to be an exception but they are reported to have hired local people with a lot of experience in the NA market. Interestingly they still use CR for streaming at this time.

I'm sorry I don't have a link for the issue of CR in Europe. This has been discussed before and it has been mentioned that CR has some beginning connections in Europe for advertising purposes.

Both CR and Funi routinely license rights for more than just North America. This has been a source of discontent among our European and South American posters when streaming to those locations is blocked. They seem to think that all CR and Funi need to do is unblock them. I doubt that it is that simple. To begin with, I don't see them buying rights they are not going to use if they have an alternative. The rights are likely just bundled into the NA rights.

My take is that it is not an absence of enough viewers. It is probably just the reverse. If it were only a matter of a few viewers they could let the signal go to them without penalty. If there are a lot of viewers, this means hiring new resources or risking them dragging down the existing network. New resources means new costs. If your advertisers will not pay extra for access to Europe or South America you will lose money on the deal. Even international corporations localize their ads. They may not have a single location for advertising worldwide, though that may be more common in the future.
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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:25 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
Look at the figures provided by Crunchyroll in the article, their support still come overwhelmingly from ad supported views.


Are you talking about 700,000 paying subscribers and more than 10 million registered users worldwide? Because that does not mean all their revenue comes from ads, just that many users see ads, but we do not know exactly how much revenue that produces (remember that every market pays differently). You might be right, but it is unclear.

Quote:
A couple of pod casts back, Funimation said that the Japanese were strongly interested in viewing numbers for simulcast shows. CR hasn't said but it is probably the same for them.


It makes sense since they probably wants a piece of the ad revenues.

Quote:
It remains to be seen just how much anime fandom has increased. CR is clearly showing a large increase in viewership but it is not clear if this is new fans or simply their increased penetration into the existing fan base. Zac has said a couple of times that the average anime fan only lasts two years. (I would love to know where that statistic came from and which form of average) This means that every year there has to be a lot of new fans to cover the turnover.


Unless Zac has access to a highly professional private inquest I cannot take that as anything but an empirical comment. Of course any fandom member has a life cycle, but I am more interested in the number of casuals that access Funi/Crunchy, that is where the real growth will be coming from in the years to come, same thing happened in the video game market, where hard core gamers (another form of otaku) have been largely displaced by the casual gamer in terms of the revenue they provide. So if casuals watch at most three animes per season (or maybe per year) but said user base is in the highly lucrative young adult market and in the tens of millions (in the USA alone), they can provide plenty of ad revenue (even if they are not registered in funi or crunchy). Of course for that to happen they need to increase the percentage of dubbed series, since only fans read subtitles.

Quote:
I suspect there is a limit to how many fans will be active at one time. If anime fans increased without limit, anime would become mainstream and I don't see that happening. Probably not a good thing anyway.


it id hard to say if anime will become "mainstream" (whatever that really means), but I do see a steady increase of income or users. Whether that is bad, I heard the same argument about the internet becoming commercial Anime hyper
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:57 pm Reply with quote
@mangamuscle
CR gets direct payment from subscribers, ad revenue from views by non subscribers and they at least try to sell anime related merchandise to their registered viewers. I can't think of any other revenue that they would get. They are not saying how much they get from each source but are obviously not hurting. I do suspect that the ad revenue is the largest part of the pie though.

Back during the anime boom in the last decade, there was a lot of buzz about anime becoming mainstream. They were never really clear what that meant or what advantages it would provide. To me it means that anime would be recognized as a normal form of entertainment outside of the fandom and that hot titles would get the sort of recognition that things like the Hunger Games or Game of Thrones get. That is featured in the non anime entertainment press and familiar to people who have no intention of watching. I don't think it is going to happen. I also don't think it would be a good thing if it did.
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