Forum - View topic
Answerman - Will Streaming Companies Free Anime From TV Format Limits?


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  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
DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Posts: 746
Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:41 pm Reply with quote
WingKing wrote:
"I know no made-for-TV shows are 50 minutes, because of the commercial breaks."

It is interesting, though, to consider how "commercial creep" has expanded over time. When Star Trek premiered 50 years ago on NBC, the episodes were 51 minutes long and aired in their entirety. When I was watching it in syndication in the 1980s, I think they were typically about 47-48 minutes with some modest cuts, and the last time I saw an episode on TV a few years ago (before I got the whole series on DVD) it was about 41-42 minutes and chopped to ribbons.


You don't even have to go that far back. Before we all but stopped watching regular TV back in 2014 or so, we watched a ton of Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU on TNT and USA... Rather than cutting the episodes (which we only two or three years old at that point) they simply sped up the replay, the difference in voice pitch was very noticeable, all to gain two or three more minutes of commercials.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Razor/Edge



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
Posts: 606
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:49 pm Reply with quote
But I thought Japan television didn't run on straight half-hour time blocks like in America. I believe there was an answerman awhile back that said this. I guess anime producers have to think about how the rest of the world works, and 22-24 minutes is what they typically go with. Though considering how rushed anime production is, they probably couldn't manage 45-50 minutes per week.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Selipse



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 216
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:53 pm Reply with quote
I guess he's trying to say that each episode should last however long it needs, instead of every single one fitting into the same "23 minutes and 58 seconds" or whatever they have. Well, as Justin said, that's already not a problem.

This season we have Planetarian, which already changes the length of the episode to whatever it needs. Of course, it's an ONA, although not funded by any western companies.

This Sunday we'll get a (bit) longer episode of Re:Zero. Which already had a double episode premiere. Rewrite also had a one-hour premiere. Fate/Stay Night had a one-hour premiere, prologue, AND finale for its first cour.
The flexibility of Planetarian may not be that common, but the producers can already alter the length of the episodes when they really need it.

We don't need 40-minute episode series, either. That's just asking for the production to fall apart.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
WingKing



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
Posts: 581
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:11 pm Reply with quote
DerekL1963 wrote:
You don't even have to go that far back. Before we all but stopped watching regular TV back in 2014 or so, we watched a ton of Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU on TNT and USA... Rather than cutting the episodes (which we only two or three years old at that point) they simply sped up the replay, the difference in voice pitch was very noticeable, all to gain two or three more minutes of commercials.


My understanding is that's also affected by the switch from broadcast networks to cable. Adweek looked at some Nielsen research data in 2013 and found that broadcast TV stations were averaging about 13.5 minutes of commercials per hour, while cable channels were averaging about 17 minutes per hour (which probably makes you wonder what you were paying all that extra money for). The article they published didn't mention TNT, but its sister station TBS was significantly above even that high average, with about 18.5 minutes of commercials (USA was around 17.5).

peno wrote:
That goes for Japan, however a lots of anime had to be time shortened for North American TV airings, usually by cutting off next episode preview and shortening openings and endings to necessary minimum (or making their own, much shorter dub versions), but sometimes there are some other time cuts and I rather not talk about censorship cuts, also often needed for TV airings in USA and Canada.


Oh, of course - I was talking strictly about Japanese TV. I don't think I've ever seen a totally uncut/unedited anime on American TV regardless. Maybe something like Space Dandy that was intended to be shown on American TV from the start, but I never watched that series. Heck the existence of TV editing has even been turned into a marketing angle for US DVD sales in the past, like when Viz started releasing "Naruto Uncut" ten years ago.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
Posts: 2650
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:16 pm Reply with quote
Anime needs a bigger budget for 50 minute to 1 hour episodes to be the norm and streaming doesn't make enough in Japan for it to be financially viable either, we'd need a Steam for anime for that to happen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3320
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:18 pm Reply with quote
SyFy's relatively short-lived Ani-Monday block was notoriously awful for editing shows for time in order to squeeze in longer commercial breaks. The worst part of it is that they'd almost always keep the full opening sequences (and sometimes even the pre-OP corporate logos!), yet they'd wind up cutting out two or three minutes' worth of actual show content in the process, frequently scenes that had important plot or character developments. Say what you will about [adult swim] and anime over the years, but I've always appreciated how they pretty much bent over backwards to avoid chopping up actual episode content, instead excising OPs/EDs and previews as necessary. They were even willing to let particular longer episodes, like the final episode of FLCL, run beyond their usual timeslot and disrupt the rest of the night's schedule a bit. The one time I can remember [as] chopping something out for time was the premiere of Eureka seveN's final episode, and they got enough of a backlash for it that they apologized and ran the finale in its uncut form the following week.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AnimeLordLuis



Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Posts: 1626
Location: The Borderlands of Pandora
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:14 am Reply with quote
I don't think that production companies are going to stop making shows that fit into a 30-60 minute time slot with commercials any time soon. After all ads are what make the world go round. Rolling Eyes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zalis116
Moderator


Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6447
Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:29 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Will they maintain manga and novels as source? To me this is interesting because I'm sick of shows that don't have definitive endings.
Wow, this part was just begging to be cut from the question, especially since it (understandably) wasn't addressed in the answer.

But those who ask for longer TV episodes should be prepared to expect longer waits between those episodes, as seen with the most prominent series with double-length episodes: Figure 17 and Katanagatari. Airing episodes once a month, as those shows did, actually gives viewers less content across their broadcast lifespan -- the equivalent of 24-26 standard-length episodes over ~12 months, instead of ~6 months.

And there already is some variety even among TV series with standard-length episodes. Some barely break 21 minutes, while others approach or surpass 25 minutes. Then there's Chaos;Head, which somehow got away with 27-minute episodes. The average length seems to be around 23:40, which brings up a key lesson for anyone who gets involved with scheduling video rooms for conventions: Never trust runtimes listed on disc covers!

Companies nearly always pad the amounts by assuming every episode is 25 minutes, and if you do the same, you will wind up with lots of dead time or accidentally running ahead of schedule (which is actually worse than running behind schedule, as people who think they're arriving on time for something will be late), as minor discrepancies can add up very quickly. A little slack time to account for disc changeover and menu operation is one thing, but it pays to put discs into a player and check the exact runtimes down to the seconds. If the episodes are on separate disc titles, get used to converting mm:ss times to decimals (e.g. 23:42 = 23.7) and multiplying. If the discs aren't on hand, streams or other versions can also be checked.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 907
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:04 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Terry asks:
Will they maintain manga and novels as source? To me this is interesting because I'm sick of shows that don't have definitive endings.


If that was to happen you will have 1/10 of the anime that you have today and most of the studios shutting down.
The first time the anime bubble burst in Japan was in the 1980's when the studios where doing many original anime and anime movies. Many studios shut down after that bubble burst.

After that, studios are mostly employed by Production Committee to make adaptations of successful sources like manga, games and light novels adaptations.
Manga and novels is what keep the anime industry alive.

So yes, they will maintain manga and novels as the main source and sometimes you will have original anime likeDog Days, Code Geass, Cross Ange, Valvrave the Liberator just to point some of the original anime of Sunrise, probably the studio responsible for most of original anime nowadays, or masterpieces like Mai Hime, Angel Beats, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru.


Last edited by Jonny Mendes on Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:51 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
king 47



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 264
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:41 am Reply with quote
DuelGundam2099 wrote:
It seems like the person asking the question is wondering if streaming companies will allow series to be made that don't have to be a specific length for every episode and if that is true I'm not sure why someone would want inconsistent run timei.



I'm the one who asked the question. Reading it again, I feel like I didn't compose it well.
But that's not what I want. I prefer a show to be consistent with itself. But most anime, at least recently, is 13 22 minute long episodes. I would like to see if things like break blade will start popping up (6 episodes/movies 50 minute long). Or something in between.
I don't buy DVD'S and I'm not too familiar with OVAs. But I like OVAs aren't complete series.


Thanks Justin.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Kalessin



Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 924
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:13 am Reply with quote
While occasionally having longer episodes can be nice, and having some leeway in the length of an episode can help make an episode work better, the longer an episode is, the more money that it's going to cost, and the folks making the show really need to at least be targetting a specific length (even if they do end up slightly off), otherwise it's going to be harder to plan out the episode. So, for the most part, they way they do things actually makes a lot of sense completely aside from commercial considerations.

Another thing to consider though is home video releases. It's usually the case (at least with anime) that episodes get adjusted when they're released on DVD or Blu-ray, and that not only includes stuff like redrawing some scenes or reducing censoring; it can also mean altering the actual length of the episode. For instance, the first season of The Testament of Sister New Devil had at least a couple of episodes that had the credits on top of the last part of the episode rather than having a separate ending (presumably to gain more story time inside the running time that they had), and not only did they have separate ending sequences for those episodes on the Blu-rays, they actually completely redid the ending sequences for the whole series (and then provided slightly altered, textless versions of the TV endings as extras on the Blu-rays, which was really confusing, especially since I hadn't bothered watching the broadcast version). And while I haven't compared them, I'm fairly certain that the scenes that would have been censored in the broadcast had new content in the home video release rather than just losing the censoring. The shortest episode is now about 23:42, whereas the longest is 26:15. So, there were quite a lot of adjustments going on there with the home video release - and in ways that made it so that the episode length no longer matched the length required for broadcast.

Remember that (at least for anime) the streaming services are not showing the definitive version of the show. They're showing the initial, broadcast version, and if you want the real deal, you buy the home video release. They make most of their money off of the DVDs and Blu-rays. So, on some level, they're actually incentivized to give you an inferior version of the show on TV and via streaming, and while I'm sure that the creators of the show would sometimes like to have more leeway in the episode length for broadcast, they often get that length on DVD and Blu-ray where the fans that make them most of their money will get it.

Now, for US shows, I'm not sure how often they actually tweak stuff for the home video release. I know that it happens at least occasionally, but those shows are geared towards making their money when they're broadcast, and while the home video sales are a nice means of additional income, a show normally has to be profitable from its broadcast alone, or they won't consider it to be a success. So, the whole situation is very different for US shows, and they aren't targetting home video releases in the same way. So, while they would probably find flexible show times to be desirable in a way that the Japanese wouldn't, they're also going to be that much more interested in the ad revenue from the typical broadcast model, which is why the show times are the way they are in the first place.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7163
Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:50 am Reply with quote
Series without definitive ends? Sounds like Terry is not a fan of episodic shows, or shows with an end goal but more focused on the journey at hand.

DuelGundam2099 wrote:
It seems like the person asking the question is wondering if streaming companies will allow series to be made that don't have to be a specific length for every episode and if that is true I'm not sure why someone would want inconsistent run times for series; OVAs can get away with that, but that is mostly because they have short episode amounts (if they even have more than one). I've seen TV series that don't and it rarely works and when it fails.... Yeah.


Something else is that even with no limitations for runtime, I think episodes should still be consistent in length because, even if people can watch an episode any time they want, people have limited time of day, and they might want to schedule their days with the episode length in mind. That's what I do--I only sit around to watch something if I KNOW I have enough time to watch an episode of something.

Top Gun wrote:
SyFy's relatively short-lived Ani-Monday block was notoriously awful for editing shows for time in order to squeeze in longer commercial breaks. The worst part of it is that they'd almost always keep the full opening sequences (and sometimes even the pre-OP corporate logos!), yet they'd wind up cutting out two or three minutes' worth of actual show content in the process, frequently scenes that had important plot or character developments. Say what you will about [adult swim] and anime over the years, but I've always appreciated how they pretty much bent over backwards to avoid chopping up actual episode content, instead excising OPs/EDs and previews as necessary. They were even willing to let particular longer episodes, like the final episode of FLCL, run beyond their usual timeslot and disrupt the rest of the night's schedule a bit. The one time I can remember [as] chopping something out for time was the premiere of Eureka seveN's final episode, and they got enough of a backlash for it that they apologized and ran the finale in its uncut form the following week.


It was more than that. SyFy's Anime Unleashed block cut them to as little as 16 minutes. I was so sick of the frequent and long commercial breaks that I started timing episodes of Crest/Banner of the Stars, Betterman, and Boogiepop Phantom by counting commercial time and subtracting from 30 minutes: They typically ran between 16 and 19 minutes. They were better about it by the time it became Ani-Monday, with episodes going to 21-22 minutes. But the Anime Unleashed series were chopped to near-unwatchability, as Sci-Fi tended to prioritize editing out character motivations and emotional scenes, making the shows confusing and characters unrelatable.

They still do that now, as I just recently saw the SyFy cut for Starship Troopers, which removed nearly all of the scenes that suggest the humans are using the bugs as scapegoats but left in all of the scenes depicting frat-boy behavior and as much of the sex and violence as they were allowed to. Their editing turned an anti-war movie into a grindhouse movie.

Kalessin wrote:
Now, for US shows, I'm not sure how often they actually tweak stuff for the home video release. I know that it happens at least occasionally, but those shows are geared towards making their money when they're broadcast, and while the home video sales are a nice means of additional income, a show normally has to be profitable from its broadcast alone, or they won't consider it to be a success. So, the whole situation is very different for US shows, and they aren't targetting home video releases in the same way. So, while they would probably find flexible show times to be desirable in a way that the Japanese wouldn't, they're also going to be that much more interested in the ad revenue from the typical broadcast model, which is why the show times are the way they are in the first place.


A large part of money gained from TV shows in the US are views that happen long after the episodes have premiered: For broadcast/cable/satellite, that'd be reruns, and for streaming, that'd be latecomers and binge-viewers. (However, that only works for well-established shows, like SpongeBob SquarePants, or shows that became popular after the first season, like Breaking Bad. A show canceled by its first season won't get that kind of chance.) Hence, an episode of an American show (and anywhere else where reruns are shown) does not necessarily need to make back its cost on its premiere. It can make it back later if necessary, which is exactly what series like Criminal Minds or The Simpsons currently do.

The anime broadcast structure doesn't really leave room for reruns, so that's a major difference in how money is gained.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 12447
Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:04 am Reply with quote
The TV/streaming OP/ED typically are typically a combined 2:30-3:30 and the preview is typically up to 1/2 a minute. So, the episode itself may average 20:00-20:30 minutes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Aphasial
Subscriber<br>Exempt from Grammar rulesSubscriber
Exempt from Grammar rules


Joined: 08 Aug 2010
Posts: 113
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:42 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
The anime broadcast structure doesn't really leave room for reruns, so that's a major difference in how money is gained.


^ This, however it should be taken into account how much late-night anime is dependent on disc sales to begin with. Honestly it feels like the Japanese market is causing problems for itself in two different ways here. The focus on short-term "cours" instead of committing to longer-term productions out from the start (unless ratings tank and it gets cancelled) tends to stunt artistic freedom to tell stories longer than 13 episodes in length, while the lack of local broadcast reruns limits the re-use for advertising spend, forcing even more dependency on either marketing tie-ins and/or otaku disc sales.

It feels like Japanese anime producers are still looking for a better way achieve reliable funding.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger ICQ Number
Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:57 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
The anime broadcast structure doesn't really leave room for reruns, so that's a major difference in how money is gained.

Aphasial wrote:
... while the lack of local broadcast reruns limits the re-use for advertising spend, forcing even more dependency on either marketing tie-ins and/or otaku disc sales.

Pretty sure late-night anime pays for broadcast slots and NOT the other way around. Any reason you think it wouldn't be the case for reruns as well?...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
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  Next
Page 2 of 3

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group