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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Companies Release Sales And Viewership Numbers?


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Greed1914
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:23 am Reply with quote
You'd also be handing useful information to competitors. If Crunchyroll divulged viewership to its shows, someone else could look for trends to see what was worth licensing and adjust bids accordingly.
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Dragon_Kaiser



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:45 am Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
You'd also be handing useful information to competitors. If Crunchyroll divulged viewership to its shows, someone else could look for trends to see what was worth licensing and adjust bids accordingly.


Well crunchyroll technically sort of does it, whenever they post on Twitter what shows are popular in certain areas. Granted it’s not giving numbers but it give the general idea of what’s popular and bringing in the views.

Example
https://twitter.com/crunchyroll/status/898199511046119424?s=21

https://twitter.com/crunchyroll/status/899821183071289344?s=21
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NeoStrayCat



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:55 pm Reply with quote
Why do I get the feeling I've read this "Answerman" topic before...

Either way, besides not divulging numbers, even niche video game localization companies like Aksys and ASW, NISA, Xseed/Marvelous and others in general do the same. Usually, big gaming companies do bring out numbers however.

Yeah, we know its "none of our business", but it would have been nice for companies to say if said title is "doing well" or "not so good", and we would understand. No need to post numbers.
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S0crates
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:37 pm Reply with quote
There are pros and cons to publishing it or not. Usually, if you are the best in the market, then publishing it would be useful in order to boost support and broadcast that superiority.

Just look at the game industry, where the big gaming companies publish their sales numbers, at least when they've done well. If some games tank then people quite frankly don't care as much, even if I'm sure the company themselves do. You even had companies giving out bonuses based on metascore rather than raw sales, so if a game is rubbish you'll hear it on many other areas than sales, and I'm sure the same is true for anime. That said it's impossible to measure an animes success based off sales as merchandise and streaming is a big part of their income. It's also way better to please, let's say 100 "imouto lovers" who throw money at your series in huge bulks, than 1000 "average chops" who just sees the streamed episode. Sales alone isn't as big of a measurement of success here as in other industries in a way.
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Primus



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:54 pm Reply with quote
NeoStrayCat wrote:
Usually, big gaming companies do bring out numbers however.


That happens for bragging rights/promotional purposes (join the online game with millions of players!) or because they're publicly traded companies that divulge sales data for investor interests. There aren't a tonne of anime-only companies (none of the North American ones are publicly traded either) and it's not a gigantic industry, so it's not prudent to get into such detail. For example, Sony isn't going to bother to break out the specific financial information of Funimation or Aniplex per quarter, let alone get granular enough as to go on a per title basis. The revenue they represent just gets bundled in with their overall Film & Music report.
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zendervai



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:06 pm Reply with quote
Primus wrote:
NeoStrayCat wrote:
Usually, big gaming companies do bring out numbers however.


That happens for bragging rights/promotional purposes (join the online game with millions of players!) or because they're publicly traded companies that divulge sales data for investor interests. There aren't a tonne of anime-only companies (none of the North American ones are publicly traded either) and it's not a gigantic industry, so it's not prudent to get into such detail. For example, Sony isn't going to bother to break out the specific financial information of Funimation or Aniplex per quarter, let alone get granular enough as to go on a per title basis. The revenue they represent just gets bundled in with their overall Film & Music report.


Not only that, it's just a generic revenue report. Even if you *could* see all of Funimation's revenue, that won't tell you anything about individual series. It just tells you if the quarter overall was good or bad.
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Mr. sickVisionz
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:13 pm Reply with quote
Record labels can still compete and make major money even though Billboard and Soundscan exist. Movie studios can still compete and make moolah even though sites like boxofficemojo exist. The NY Times Bestseller list hasn't obliterated the literary industry as we know it. Why would anime companies not be able to compete if there was sales tracking? What makes them different than nearly every other entertainment industry?


As far as the it being none of our business... None of the things above are any of out business but they still exist. Hell, this whole site is none of our business if wanting to know industry info is something anime fans should just keep their noses out of. Isn't the premise of this column about an longtime anime insider telling us things that are none of our business? That's a lame argument to make, especially in a column about giving people the inside scope on the inner workings of the industry.
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johnnysasaki



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:46 pm Reply with quote
a good example is how Telltale was actually doing badly all these years.We all assumed everything was fine in that company,but only now in September when they announced their bankrupcy we found out that most of their games were not even turning into a profit
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Aca Vuksa



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:45 am Reply with quote
Are these anime companies hide number sales and viewership for an privacy, i think Japan to be always anomyounus about how sales and viewership is totalized.

(sorry for my poor English)
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Violynne



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:25 am Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
You'd also be handing useful information to competitors.

"Competitors" use various tools to determine possible sales figures. There's no reason to be accurate. Just "good enough" to know what's moving inventory.

In entertainment, copycats quickly follow. The explosion of idol groups in Japan? Think of the first group to do it. Remember genres like mecha, slice of life, and tsundere? I bet most can remember the first series to introduce them.

The cycle never ends: copycats flood the market, people buy them, then it becomes stagnant, and another creation breaks the mold and everyone rushes after it.

The question of what makes a "successful" show isn't just limited to sales. With the internet, you can bet companies spend a great deal of money watching social media and track what's "trending" in terms of popular titles.

Companies will never change their behavior because consumers refuse to change theirs.

This is why many anime fans feel "burnout" midway through a season of "new" shows, wherein they realize they're basically watching the same stuff they watched last year.

"Entertaining", sure, but highly unlikely to generate the same sales as the series that started it all.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:17 am Reply with quote
You are all missing the main point. You are looking at the question from the viewpoint of the people who want to play with the data. Try looking at the question from the point of the company.

The biggest reason they don't release individual sales figures is they don't have to. There is no legal requirement that they do so.

There is no positive reason to release the information. It may sometimes help a company to brag about its best sellers, but it serves no useful purpose to the company to release detailed information about all shows, especially the failures.

There are a number of negative reasons why releasing the information might hurt or embarrass the company or individuals in the company. It doesn't matter if the reasons are valid or not as long as the persons making the decision thinks they are.

TLDR: They don't want to, they don't have to, they ain't a gonna.
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Kadmos1



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:11 am Reply with quote
In Kickstarter campaigns, they do list "this many people pledged this amount for this tier". So, sometimes you can get how many orders are being made. For example, the "Let's Dub ALL OF Emma A Victorian Romance Anime TV Series", at the I write this (8:09AM AZ time), has 795 or 796 backers that have the tier for AT LEAST the Season 1 boxset.
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I_Drive_DSM



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:13 am Reply with quote
It doesn't relate 100% to the topic but on the subject matter of where the physical media ends up to outside of the typical retailers you'd be surprised at some of the locations that anime that has sat in a warehouse can end up in, which undoubtedly complicates sales figures.

Some years back I happened to go into a Dollar General store in a very rural area - somewhat randomly, just because I needed to pick something up for the road and it was the first store I happened to come upon - and in walking around and looking at things I came upon some old Geneon licensed titles including the Tenchi Muyo OVAs on DVD and Gate Keepers 21 on a toys section of the store. All the titles that DG had were tagged $2 each so I picked up one of each title they had on the shelf. Honestly it was strange to see the Tenchi OVAs there as they were the uncensored releases. This was shortly following the time period when Geneon ceased to be so I'm guessing nearing a decade or so now. I'm certain Dollar General isn't reporting anime sales figures...
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Incidentally, the reasons discussed in this article are also why we don't see legitimate services like CR providing linking/integration with sites like Anime-Planet or MAL, i.e. "watch an episode, get your list automatically updated."

Quote:
I do not believe that we will ever freely share consumption data with a 3rd party like MAL or any other tracking service. That data is actually way too high level to be shared with a 3rd party. To add on: No premium streaming service shares data like this with 3rd parties. Content consumption stats are key internal business metrics, which are basically only for the eyes of the service itself and its content licensing partners. Allowing someone from the outside to gain data through an official stream would allow the public to track that information and extrapolate usage stats of the service.

That means that any sort of stats keeping on external services needs to be entirely manual and done by the customer, so the numbers remain fuzzy and inofficial.


Mr. sickVisionz wrote:
As far as the it being none of our business... None of the things above are any of out business but they still exist. Hell, this whole site is none of our business if wanting to know industry info is something anime fans should just keep their noses out of. Isn't the premise of this column about an longtime anime insider telling us things that are none of our business? That's a lame argument to make, especially in a column about giving people the inside scope on the inner workings of the industry.
Most of the content on the site is news that companies would want to be publicly available. As for the premise of Answerman, there's a pretty big difference between talking about "This is why English dub actors record separately, instead of all together like Japanese VAs" and "Show A only sold 574 units." Talking about general trends and processes doesn't advantage or disadvantage any one company.
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nargun



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:28 pm Reply with quote
The thing that saddens me about the Manabi Line is that Manabi Straight's actually a pretty good show in its own right, and to see it remembered as a punchline is not what it deserves.
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