Forum - View topic
Answerman - Why Are Anime DVDs More Expensive Than Western Animation?


Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  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
doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1972
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:14 pm Reply with quote
I'm glad this is a question that it seems (at least in my personal experience) we're hearing less of. I get it can't be expected that the person asking just know how this works if they're relatively new to anime (or more importantly actually buying it), but a few years ago it felt like I ran into this question at least once a week online. Of course what was truly aggravating was how snooty a good deal of the people were about it by acting like anime companies were just being crooks by charging so much and that if something like LOST or Battlestar Galactica could charge the prices they do for their home video release then everyone could. Well, by that "logic" I guess the most fancy restaurants are ripping their customers off by not charging as low as Burger King. Hey, if BK can charge that low, shouldn't everyone?

At least this person just seems genuinely curious without making such cynical assumptions. So nothing wrong with that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 4256
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:14 pm Reply with quote
"This is hardly news. Anime VHS tapes, usually containing only an hour worth of material, would commonly be priced at $29.95 retail, which was 50% more than most new-release Hollywood movies used to cost."

Not necessarily true in the days before VHS was priced-to-own. I remember when I was 17, soon to turn 18, in the summer of 1992 buying Wayne's World (still one of my favourite films) on VHS. I don't remember how much it cost but I think it was around $20, which seemed cheap at the time, but the movie buff clerk at HMV was complaining to me that, while that movie was super cheap, the movies he wanted to own, I think he mentioned a couple of Woody Allen films, were still priced for rental, which I think he said was like $150 to $200.

Ironically, for a lot of movies back in the day, the Laserdiscs were a lot cheaper than the VHS tapes even though Laserdisc was widely viewed as a rich people's format.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1267
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:16 pm Reply with quote
It's really an Apples to Oranges comparison, about all that Korra and Mayou had in common was the roundness of the disks.

As far as Physical vs Streaming is concerned, the shakeout will happen when one of the major streaming services goes dark. I know that seems so unlikely, but how many big names are gone or almost gone from the Internet? Anyone remember Excite? Altavista? Mindspring?

So, I don't think Physical media will become a collector's only market just yet.

Mark Gosdin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3998
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The less nerdy parts of the DVD/BD sales landscape is a little behind in transforming to a collector's market, but in a few years, they may look more like the anime market: slightly higher prices, and more limited editions, aimed at collectors.


Hope not. It would be a sad day.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 1015
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:22 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:

So, I don't think Physical media will become a collector's only market just yet.


I think the thing here is with streaming you can watch all those one and done series and not have to buy them. As you know back in the day if you wanted to watch a series you just had to take the chance on it and buy it (or maybe borrow it from a friend). Now you can watch it first and then if you really like it buy it. But I am going to guess most people watch a series only once. So, no need to buy DVDs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
kawaiiguy



Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:35 pm Reply with quote
In comparison, pricing on BDs in the western market is far lower than in the Japanese market. Over there, typical releases are 2-3 episodes at a time, for more than what we pay for an entire series.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2363
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:47 pm Reply with quote
This answer begs the question, what will happen as anime becomes more mainstream? ATM The 7 deadly sins is a hit in netflix and like other netflix exclusives, it will be released in disc, probably next year. I bet it will be sold at Target, Walmart and similar mainstream outlets for a price similar to western produced animation series and chances are the company to get the disc distribution rights will not be one that specializes in anime. Something similar has already happen with Jojo season 1, which was released by warner home video. Of course I could be wrong, we are living in interesting times.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barciad



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 105
Location: St Andrews
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:54 pm Reply with quote
It's Micro Economics 101. Elasticity of demand. Relatively speaking, anime as has greater inelasticity of demand than other DVD products. Hence prices tend to be higher.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
EonsNearby



Joined: 21 Sep 2015
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:46 pm Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
At least this person just seems genuinely curious without making such cynical assumptions. So nothing wrong with that.


I did ask the question out of genuine curiosity, but I also didn't think about the marketing differences between mainstream western shows that get a Blu-Ray/DVD release and a niche anime series that gets a Blu-ray/DVD release (I've also never worked in any kind of show business or media distribution company, so that may have played into it).

Barciad wrote:
It's Micro Economics 101. Elasticity of demand. Relatively speaking, anime as has greater inelasticity of demand than other DVD products. Hence prices tend to be higher.


The only economics course I took was an introductory macro economics course, and I didn't really remember anything from it. So basically, don't take my stock advice.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1386
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:01 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The less nerdy parts of the DVD/BD sales landscape is a little behind in transforming to a collector's market, but in a few years, they may look more like the anime market: slightly higher prices, and more limited editions, aimed at collectors.


I have a sort of love/hate relationship with limited editions. On the one hand, I really like having nice packaging to display a show that I liked enough to buy. On the other hand, I could care less about the stuff that comes with limited editions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3998
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:31 pm Reply with quote
Brand wrote:
mgosdin wrote:

So, I don't think Physical media will become a collector's only market just yet.


I think the thing here is with streaming you can watch all those one and done series and not have to buy them. As you know back in the day if you wanted to watch a series you just had to take the chance on it and buy it (or maybe borrow it from a friend). Now you can watch it first and then if you really like it buy it. But I am going to guess most people watch a series only once. So, no need to buy DVDs.


Not sure if that was a thing. Before our recent streaming age, you usually watched your TV show on TV/Cable, and then decided to buy it if you were a fan. Some may have bought the DVD before watching the show, but I would have thought that would be the exception and not the rule. Who knows though, I could be completely wrong.

I have always seen streaming as another way to watch TV, and would only think that streaming would only have a minor impact on DVD/BD sales.

I have plenty of DVD's of movies, that you can't watch via streaming. So unless American's are getting tired of old and ancient movies, streaming is not the ultimate solution that many think it is.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7160
Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:35 pm Reply with quote
Tenchi wrote:
Not necessarily true in the days before VHS was priced-to-own. I remember when I was 17, soon to turn 18, in the summer of 1992 buying Wayne's World (still one of my favourite films) on VHS. I don't remember how much it cost but I think it was around $20, which seemed cheap at the time, but the movie buff clerk at HMV was complaining to me that, while that movie was super cheap, the movies he wanted to own, I think he mentioned a couple of Woody Allen films, were still priced for rental, which I think he said was like $150 to $200.


Why were rental copies so expensive? Were they higher quality? Or was it due to some contract between the rental store and the media owners?

Barciad wrote:
It's Micro Economics 101. Elasticity of demand. Relatively speaking, anime as has greater inelasticity of demand than other DVD products. Hence prices tend to be higher.


I've only ever taken one macroeconomics class myself (AP Macroeconomics was part of my high school program's required graduation requirements), so I don't really know much about elasticity of demand. Is the idea being that the smaller the audience the product has, the more it has to cost to be profitable?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
residentgrigo



Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Posts: 1592
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:46 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Slightly higher prices, and more limited editions, aimed at collectors.
Isn´t this a 1 to 1 description how the Japanese market works? You would only need to replace the word slightly with significantly. 2/3 of the current TV productions are also midnight channel releases (infomercials ~LoL Justin) so we essentially managed to bring back the OVA model.
Just with with higher episode counts, less delays and less variety. The more things change.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
Posts: 1298
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:55 pm Reply with quote
Brand wrote:
I think the thing here is with streaming you can watch all those one and done series and not have to buy them. As you know back in the day if you wanted to watch a series you just had to take the chance on it and buy it (or maybe borrow it from a friend). Now you can watch it first and then if you really like it buy it. But I am going to guess most people watch a series only once. So, no need to buy DVDs.


It's all about why you buy physical media. If one just wants to watch a show, then streaming is fine. If one wants to be a collector, then physical media is the key. My personal issue lies with when companies try to mesh the two together. I personally don't see the need to buy western media on DVD. And I don't mean that in a snooty "Haha, anime is so much better than western shows" I mean that in most western releases tend to be bare bones or budget releases, making the collector in me not feel inclined to buy them. With the rise in streaming if you just want to watch a show then you can, so actually going out to buy the physical version is for people who want to collect. Usually the only bonuses I see here are either commentary tracks and maybe deleted scenes. I've never really seen a show go all out like my anime releases do. Bundling drama CDs, soundtrack CDs, picture dramas, or some kind of physical goodies. Also I detest any show that uses a digipak format for it's release, which is for some reason fairly popular here. Unless, say, Scream Queens has some kind of amazing collectors boxset, I find no need to buy it if it's just going to be the show on some disks.

I wouldn't mind if physical media all became a collector's market here. It already seems that way given some of the comments I read about it.
I remember reading a comment on these forums a few weeks ago saying how Japan was archaic for still relying mostly on CD sales for music as opposed to iTunes. I just shook my head at it. Now with technology like Blu-ray music disks where you can have hundreds of tracks on one disk, it's nice to see it taken advantage of for collectors. The day everything becomes streaming or digital only is the day I stop buying things.

-Stuart Smith
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 1237
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:57 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Why were rental copies so expensive? Were they higher quality? Or was it due to some contract between the rental store and the media owners?

Unless I'm misunderstanding, it's the second: because they're rental copies. That is to say, the store pays more for them, with the license to rent them out and the expectation that they will make the cost back through renting them out.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group