Forum - View topic
"Helping the Industry": Otaku Coin, The Flying Colors Foundation & You


Goto page 1, 2  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
omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:25 pm Reply with quote
Just noting that while official streaming sources provide viewership data to their licencors, a lot of anime is still consumed via illegal means, so there is value to a survey done by a neutral 3rd party.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
John Thacker
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 718
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:40 pm Reply with quote
It's difficult to improve the wages for animators and other creative artist types when so many people passionately want to create art and are willing to be starving artists to break into the industry. Just like journalists have to compete with people willing to freelance and post things on the Internet for free, manga artists have to compete with people willing to self-publish doujinshi. As noted, a lot of things that put more money in the industry will just result in more projects-- which can be great for people whose lifelong dream is to work on anime, but not necessarily improve wages.

Trying to keep more of the revenues in the hands of artists instead of production companies is one approach, but anime is as much of a winner-take-all tournament as anything in the arts, where the top shows can be very profitable, but nearly everything else loses money. There are a few fan favorites a season that do much, much better than the others, and fans really only have so much time and attention to pay to shows. Producers are there to bear the risk of losses on most shows in order to back a few winners. So if artists are more directly involved in profit, you would have more inequality and people who worked on the unsuccessful shows would still make starvation wages (worse if they were actually liable for losses in any sense.)

Of course one way to increase the minimum wage for jobs in Japan is to outsource all the lowest paying jobs to other countries where wages in other industries are lower, and that happens too.

Probably the best way to improve wages for animators in Japan is, no joke, improve the overall job market in Japan. In that sense, BOJ governor Kuroda (and PM Abe for appointing him) has as much to do with it as anyone. That would draw some people off into other industries. It might, of course, decrease the amount of anime produced.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3176
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:49 pm Reply with quote
It seems like there hasn't been much progress that would alleviate my concerns about Otaku Coin. At best, it came off as something that sounded good, but the people running it had no idea how to achieve the claimed goals. I'm not seeing where that has improved.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
VinceA
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 104
Location: Bayonne, NJ
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:08 pm Reply with quote
omoikane wrote:
Just noting that while official streaming sources provide viewership data to their licencors, a lot of anime is still consumed via illegal means, so there is value to a survey done by a neutral 3rd party.

I'm of the opinion that since they're not willing to use legal means, their opinions are less valuable since their viewing isn't 'helping'. If they're buying merch then that data is valuable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address MSN Messenger ICQ Number
MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3224
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:20 pm Reply with quote
While I am in favour of having the revenues in the hands of artists instead of production committees, it is only reasonable why it goes there. An animator maybe underpaid, but they are paid for their work, the people who fund it see no money until the product is sold. They already have to share the profits with the over investors, so to then say that they get less because it is going to the staff, is going to make them less keen to invest in the first place.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
rizuchan
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 802
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:23 pm Reply with quote
omoikane wrote:
Just noting that while official streaming sources provide viewership data to their licencors, a lot of anime is still consumed via illegal means, so there is value to a survey done by a neutral 3rd party.


This was the argument presented by many of FCF's supporters, but in terms of supporting the industry, no, there is no value in the opinions of fans that pirate, because they aren't paying. No one is going to make a show based on the wants of people that won't or can't contribute to its funding. Even if you argue that these fans still buy merchandise, that is reflected in the merchandise sales numbers anyway.

I acknowledge that there are many fans in countries with limited options for watching anime legally that are frustrated at being told their opinion doesn't matter because they don't pay, while simultaneously being denied any reasonable way of paying for it, but that's capitalism for ya. For what it's worth, I don't blame any of those who fall into that category for pirating.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 701
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:54 pm Reply with quote
John Thacker wrote:
Probably the best way to improve wages for animators in Japan is, no joke, improve the overall job market in Japan. In that sense, BOJ governor Kuroda (and PM Abe for appointing him) has as much to do with it as anyone. That would draw some people off into other industries. It might, of course, decrease the amount of anime produced.


I think you hit the nail on the head here. Japan's economy has been stagnant for a long time now, and this is simply one manifestation of that (granted, the problem is more acute in the anime industry than others for the reasons you mentioned previously, but still).

Also, I might get some flack for this, but pretty much all of the solutions I've seen seem pretty worthless in the long run, with the possible exception of the dormitory project. Basically, none of these solutions seem to remedy the root cause, which is that animators are paid in beans. They're just bandaids. By crowdsourcing and funding these projects through third party means, the incentive for anime production companies to actually make lasting changes to their production methods and pay their animators more is removed. If you're literally doing their job for them, do you really think they're going to do anything other than sit back and let these suckers keep doing it? Of course not. These projects are simply prolonging the problem.

That said, the alternative to crowdfunding, etc. is to let the animators live on starvation wages until something in the industry breaks, and I don't think that's exactly a good option either. And so we're stuck in this predicament.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 876
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:23 pm Reply with quote
omoikane wrote:
Just noting that while official streaming sources provide viewership data to their licencors, a lot of anime is still consumed via illegal means, so there is value to a survey done by a neutral 3rd party.


I don't use Crunchyroll, but instead import numerous Japanese disks and merchandise every month. It's part of the reason I don't put stock in popularity polls or viewership numbers from them. They're just one outlet, and don't speak for the entire American anime fanbase.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nargun



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 685
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:14 am Reply with quote
Sahmbahdeh wrote:
John Thacker wrote:
Probably the best way to improve wages for animators in Japan is, no joke, improve the overall job market in Japan. In that sense, BOJ governor Kuroda (and PM Abe for appointing him) has as much to do with it as anyone. That would draw some people off into other industries. It might, of course, decrease the amount of anime produced.


I think you hit the nail on the head here. Japan's economy has been stagnant for a long time now


It's... actually doing reasonably well, currently, and has been for some time. The lost decade ended ages ago. GDP is growing slowly [or still falling? been years since I properly checked], but pretty much all of that is because the population is falling: GDP per capita has been growing steadilly for years now.

You can actually see this in anime: an awful lot of otaku characters in anime -- not necc self-insert, but meant at the least to jibe with the lived experience of the audience -- have pretty decent jobs, these days. Ten years ago they didn't. We didn't get characters like Kobayashi, we didn't get workplace comedies. "Media representations suggest that japanese anime fans are vastly more likely to be in stable employment than they were years ago" is partially explained by aging demographics, but a decent fraction probably comes from improved economic outcomes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 3976
Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:41 pm Reply with quote
omoikane wrote:
Just noting that while official streaming sources provide viewership data to their licencors, a lot of anime is still consumed via illegal means, so there is value to a survey done by a neutral 3rd party.


probably wont happen. its highly unlikely that everyone will be honest about that! also illegal streaming and fansubs will continue to happen cause of the enormous restrictions that japan's laws have on the books, especially for ero series.

for example, the ero harem series kanojo x kanojo x kanojo was released back in 2005 but it got officially released in the west in 2017! there is NO way in hell anyone is going to wait over a year for a series to be officially be released, LET ALONE 10 years for that. not to mention that some studios (PoRO , lilith/ziz , pink pineapple) are dead set on not allowing their series to be licensed in the US AT ALL!

and the non ero sector don't fare any better! until some license holders ( LOOKING AT YOU NINTENDO AND KONAMI) stop "americanizing" their series as kids shows to appease parental advocates, illegal fansubbing will constantly continue and there is nothing that a survey can do about it!

Quote:
Crowdfunding also offers a way for ambitious projects to get greenlit and receive further support. Most recently Gunsmith Cats creator Kenichi Sonoda successfully reached his first goal on Kickstarter for his new Bean Bandit short film.


which i believe will end up being the inevitable future on how some anime, manga and light novels will be funded. especially for some old school anime series with outdated english dubs and for anime series that have been release with a sub only version. funi used kickstarter to get a new dub version for escaflowne , then right stuff/ nozumi ent did the same so that ARIA can get a dub (though a lot of us was hoping that it was maria watches over us) and then seven seas launched one to get the manga version of kodomo no jikan of all things to be released in the US!

so while it might not have an everlasting impact now, its more than clear that the inevitable future for the industry will rest on sites like kickstarter!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 4183
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:31 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
omoikane wrote:
Just noting that while official streaming sources provide viewership data to their licencors, a lot of anime is still consumed via illegal means, so there is value to a survey done by a neutral 3rd party.


This was the argument presented by many of FCF's supporters, but in terms of supporting the industry, no, there is no value in the opinions of fans that pirate, because they aren't paying. No one is going to make a show based on the wants of people that won't or can't contribute to its funding. Even if you argue that these fans still buy merchandise, that is reflected in the merchandise sales numbers anyway.


This is where your argument dies to me. That money is still related to the "Anime". Technically the "Francise" - it's extremely relevant. For a lot of franchise (Gundam) merchandise is where MOST of the money is made. And most people don't "buy" anime anyway. Most just stream it, legally or otherwise. I don't fully understand how CR distributes money to the companies that have their anime stream on there, but it's definitely not fair and balanced. That's just the nature of streaming.

FOR EXAMPLE: Lets say I liked Gundam more than any other show. The money I paid CR would still be going to other shows/creators and not just Gundam. My "viewership data" is pretty worthless since I've watched most shows every season. Viewership data doesn't show how MUCH I like a show. On the other hand, if I were spending a lot of money on licensed Gundam products, that's meaningful because the money goes straight to Bandai and isn't sent into a mixer like with streaming networks. If I could tell CR to put more of my money into X companies, then "Viewership data" from such companies would mean anything. Until that is possible (it never will be), survives and polls are FAR more meaningful, even if it's from pirates that buy merchandise.


Otaku Coin still sounds like a scam. more in depth article on it's issues


Honestly, there's only two ways to improve this situation.

1. pay people proper wages

This will never happen.

2. more and more anime go straight to crowd funding.

This is probably happen, but I don't think it will "fix" the issue, because most people won't be able to afford to donate to (invest in) more than a few of these per year.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address My Anime My Manga
DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 300
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:55 pm Reply with quote
Part of the problem, I believe, is that there is a lack of definition. The term "pay the creators" more money is nebulous and ill-defined. It is, aptly, like a shounen hero simply screaming about being stronger - what does "stronger" mean.

So first, who are the creators we're talking about? Simply cutting out the producers, saying they make too much isn't a very good answer, because without the producers, projects would never get made at all.

Next, how much are we talking about? U.S. minimum wage is very, very, different from Europe, is different from Asia, is different from Africa, etc. What does one honestly need to live comfortably. U.S minimum wage is ~$7.50 an hour, and you have many places clamoring that it should be double that, at least. But the standard of living in the U.S. is a lot different too. Some allowance or understanding on that regard is necessary so that there is an actual target number. As I said, many places around the U.S have been clamoring for higher minimum wages. It wasn't until a consensus of sorts on a target number, $15, that progress in that direction was made.

Once you've got all that together, then you can get a picture on impact and how to manage or mitigate it. I've suggested this before; most folks have no real inkling into how much the cost of a series would jump if the number in their head for wages was what folks were actually paid. All the folks that have been getting "big" pay checks aren't going to suddenly see their pay chopped to nothing, and even if they did it likely wouldn't cover the full cost. So, that cost of increased wages gets passed on to consumers in the end. That means the fees for licencors and distributors goes up, which means that streaming services charge more, blu-ray and dvds cost more, merchandise cost more.

I don't know how many folks here do the grocery shopping, but it's the same mechanism that works there; when farmers have to pay more for their insurance, their equipment, to ship their food, it almost immediately gets reflected in the price of fruits, vegetables, dairy. No one further up the chain wants to swallow the increased costs, so they will immediately pass it along to someone further down the line; the consumer is that last link.

Long term, this isn't good for the end product of an artistic industry. For the most part, and egg, is an egg, is an egg. No matter how few or many egg producers there are, it will still be an egg. Anime, like all artistic production, is different. Higher costs make studios and producers more risk adverse. They will not gamble on a show being a hit if the cost of that show is too high. They'll target the "sure" thing. Only the occasional small project will break through to shift the orthodoxy. That means that an industry that is already heavily criticized by its most vocal fan base for producing the same sort of thing again and again, will be more inclined to do just that. It is what has happened to Hollywood as wages for star actors and directors has ballooned, the price of set pieces and the cost of adding computer animation to films has skyrocketed.

Popular vote is not really a convincing answer. How many folks have maligned the Transformers series from Michael Bay, or the Resident Evil movies. Yet those series endured as long as they have because, despite being so "bad" the popular vote that is people going to the box office to pay to see those movies was far more than the cost to make them. We've had a flood of superhero movies, Star Wars movies and spin-offs, because they are known quantities that can be milked. The anime industry has a handful of these, but there are still numerous new entries that gain a large following every year. That will surely dwindle.

I'm saying all this to point out the fact that this issue belies simple answers. We are looking at a structurally deficient economic system. It's not just about some artist in an anime studio. As some have touched on earlier, it's a much bigger issue that involves the broader economy. I would argue it goes beyond even just Japan's economy to the global economic system that is at play now. The interconnection of costs and pay is not as simple as it once was when you bought everything you needed, and everything you bought could be produced independently, within fifty miles of your home. Very, very, few, if any, places exist today that can operate in that way. And our economic system that has allowed for segments of the system to have runaway costs has created pockets of disparately low wages. Most any solution proposed for the relatively narrow issue of pay for animators is ultimately a never-ending struggle at attach a band-aid to a festering issue.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
Posts: 1298
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:46 am Reply with quote
Kougeru wrote:
This is where your argument dies to me. That money is still related to the "Anime". Technically the "Francise" - it's extremely relevant. For a lot of franchise (Gundam) merchandise is where MOST of the money is made. And most people don't "buy" anime anyway. Most just stream it, legally or otherwise. I don't fully understand how CR distributes money to the companies that have their anime stream on there, but it's definitely not fair and balanced. That's just the nature of streaming.

FOR EXAMPLE: Lets say I liked Gundam more than any other show. The money I paid CR would still be going to other shows/creators and not just Gundam. My "viewership data" is pretty worthless since I've watched most shows every season. Viewership data doesn't show how MUCH I like a show. On the other hand, if I were spending a lot of money on licensed Gundam products, that's meaningful because the money goes straight to Bandai and isn't sent into a mixer like with streaming networks. If I could tell CR to put more of my money into X companies, then "Viewership data" from such companies would mean anything. Until that is possible (it never will be), survives and polls are FAR more meaningful, even if it's from pirates that buy merchandise.


Most profit for anime these days comes from merchandising rather than TV ratings or disk sales all across the board. Merchandising shows especially care far more about merchandising than video sales. Mecha series like Gundam and Zoids, card shows like Yu-Gi-Oh and Cardfight Vanguard, idol shows like Love Live, other merchandise shows like Pocket Monsters, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai. The whole purpose of the show is to push merchandise. Kamen Rider and Super Sentai wouldn't rank in the Top 10 if they were included in the anime ratings, but their toy sales are the primary source of income, which is why they've been on the air for 40 years despite mediocre TV ratings and abyssmal non-existant disk sales.

You importing Gundam model kits would support that franchise far more than paying a CrunchyRoll subscription every month if that is your main concern. I myself have imported all the current Zoids Wild model kits already and the show hasn't even aired yet in Japan.

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



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3638
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:02 am Reply with quote
Kougeru wrote:
[I don't fully understand how CR distributes money to the companies that have their anime stream on there, but it's definitely not fair and balanced. That's just the nature of streaming.

FOR EXAMPLE: Lets say I liked Gundam more than any other show. The money I paid CR would still be going to other shows/creators and not just Gundam. My "viewership data" is pretty worthless since I've watched most shows every season. Viewership data doesn't show how MUCH I like a show.

CR has explicitly stated how their model works. It was mentioned in some article on ANN. It's a 50/50 split between them and licensors and what gets dived up among the different licensors is proportionate to what gets watched. So if you watch Gundam on CR then the half of your subscription goes to Sunrise and coproducers in Japan. Otherwise if you watch 2 other shows, say by an even amount, then it gets split 1/3 for each. So viewership data directly contributes to where your money goes in Japan for streaming and for home video sales (licensing fee + royalties)

In any case, streaming is one avenue, BD/DVD another avenue and merchandise (from models/figures, manga, to games) is another source for revenue. Some titles can profit more from one more than another. Not everything can rely on Gunpla kits like Gundam. None of these are mutually exclusive things.

That said, all of this is paying to recoup investment costs and turn a profit and increase likelihood of future shows. The show is already made, staff already paid. Crowdfunded and direct fan patronage is fine for small bonus financial support, but I shudder to think of a show's production becoming dependent upon direct funding by fickle fans who barely have any discretionary money to spend on many things.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gator Gamer



Joined: 05 Jul 2018
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:38 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:

CR has explicitly stated how their model works. It was mentioned in some article on ANN. It's a 50/50 split between them and licensors and what gets dived up among the different licensors is proportionate to what gets watched. So if you watch Gundam on CR then the half of your subscription goes to Sunrise and coproducers in Japan. Otherwise if you watch 2 other shows, say by an even amount, then it gets split 1/3 for each. So viewership data directly contributes to where your money goes in Japan for streaming and for home video sales (licensing fee + royalties)


Huh? If you sign up for a year it's like 5 bucks a month. That means if I watch like 20 shows in a month the companies would only get 2 dollars 50 cents split between them. That's like barely a dime. How is that even sustainable?
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 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group