Anime on Demand - Good news and bad news


Karamatsu Boy
Conan, after having dropped a number of increasingly unsubtle hints already, I will now make it clear after deleting that last one: unproductive whinging is not welcome in this thread. I doubt many people here care whether or not you are "right" about something when you're not making any reasonable suggestions to help.



Then here's the constructive version;

Make me want to buy a subscription where the only perk is the base product you were previously offering for free via advertising. You're on your own as far as that is concerned, because I certainly can't think of any way to do that that doesn't involve making this a non issue.

Make Subscriptions a simple Month/Year Rates affair. If I have to pay a tenner a month, so be it, I'd rather that than than buying a pass near the end of an ill-defined season and then only getting four episodes of the show I bought the pass for.

More content, this one speaks for itself.

And that's it really.

Like I previously said, I, as someone looking into the situation, can only see AOD taking in water and this will, unfortunately, all be a non issue in the near future but if I've totally utterly misread the information available to me and Kaze is able to turn it around some how, great. I can't however, feel Kazé is going to get out of this one unsaved in one manner or another.


kaze_andrew said:
fabricatedlunatic said:
britguy said:
Am i alone in saying that 9/10 of my anime purchases are blind buys, much like 9/10 of my gaming purchases and 9/10 of my DVD/BD film purchases are blind buys?
Nope. I love the thrill of a blind buy.

/deftly avoids debate at hand

I actually love the thrill of a blind buy too - it's how I started playing the FEAR series initially.

Although the Steam sale is always a way of encouraging my blind buying tendencies too.
Speaking of Steam, I believe Valve created the platform as a means to provide a better service than pirates. Despite the fact that payment for games is obviously mandatory, they have a lot of incentives by offering packages, seasonal sales, price reductions, a library of purchased and downloaded content that can be accessed from any PC and doesn't necessarily need an internet connection. I think doing something similar (like offering downloadable content) would work. The Steam business model is a lot more suitable for AOD. There's no way to solve the free SD issue, but applying the Steam model instead of just having to choose between two subscriptions seems more viable.

Alternatively, offer free SD versions of the stuff you anticipate won't attract so many viewers, and keep bigger titles like Persona 4 behind a pay wall (if the titles kept behind the pay wall are perceived as a better then that might help). You can still potentially attract people with free content but keep the losses minimal.

I would also like to thank you and the web developers for addressing two of my three main concerns about the original AOD website. The navigation on this version is very simple and it's easy to get access to content. The other issue I had with the old one was with the terrible ANN player, but you got rid of that and actually use something that works. Now I'm just waiting for you to add more content that I want to see.

Reaper gI

Pokémon Master
ConanThe3rd said:
Reaper gI said:
The coming seasons big show is fairly obvious (Nisemonogatari), the fact it's a sequel to a show that isn't available in English lawfully anywhere is neither here nor there.
Chances of simulcast for us are near zilch (Aniplex have a terrible record for them outside the USA and SHAFT don't like doing them).
Persona was Animax so, wobbly about how dare we exist in the same continent as France aside, they're perfectly fine with Streaming.

SHAFT, however, are a bunch of wasters. How Shinbo got the clout to flout deadlines like that will be a mystery that will forever elude.
As were [email protected], and Guilty Crown, the USA are doing much better (this season was especially good for us compared to previous).

Deadlines have always been close for TV anime, it's not just SHAFT who nearly miss them look at most older Gainax shows (note all the recap eps), and shows like Naruto have almost as many corrections to the DVDs.


State Alchemist
kaze_andrew said:
That said it doesn't mean we should give up though either
Absolutely not, it's not wrong to remain hopeful that effort and quality will be rewarded in the long run, and I think your responses here and the design of the new site definitely show both. I personally think that in the long term something more Europe-integrated will be required to sustain things, or even "English speaking territories"-integrated, but that would be a long long presumably full of arduous negotiations so I hope I'm wrong and that you can find some balance with the setup you have at the moment.

Moving some numbers around on the ideas that other people have suggested, my ideal scenario would be something like the first month of each season being free in SD (probably really bad PQ, like Funi's youtube efforts or the low quality niconico stuff), with the option for a [cheap] SD pass for the rest of the season, and access to each episode for eight days past the initial airing. Then have an HD season pass for slightly more, which gives you access to all the episodes for the duration of that season, and the first month of the next (that's poorly worded, but what I mean is give people an extra month to finish off shows from the previous season, giving them a reason to come back to the site to see which new shows you have picked up). And have a third option of an annual Premium pass, which would give you access to all the archived shows, any extra shows you add to the archive, as well as obviously the HD simulcasts (and an AoD towel/mug/whatever).

ConanThe3rd said:
ilmaestro said:
ConanThe3rd said:
Someone sees Harry Potter on Blu Ray for a tenner, goes "I remember Harry Potter being good from what I saw on ITV (or Sky Movies, or whatever)! I think I'll buy it!" and does so.
Sky Movies, that legendary free streaming service.

Don't get cute with me. I'm not in the damn mood for it.

/tickles Conan under the chin


I skipped most of the posts in the page because they were lengthy and I don't feel like reading tonight >_>

But I'd totally be up for a AOD towel.


I'll tell you what, a good 75% of my worries would be gone the moment AOD went to a subscription period that made sense. Give me a monthly rate and we might be on track to a start to the solution.


Straw Hat Pirate
kaze_andrew said:
Same goes to everyone else really in this thread too - your opinions really do matter

I'm from Italy, so my opinion is less important than the others at this point of your project (for obvious reasons).
And I must say I've never been interested in streaming shows for various reasons. It's quite rare for me to really want to watch something more than once, so I prefer to watch it in the best way possible for the first time because most times I'll never watch it again. Add to this that I prefer to have my physical DVDs/CDs/whatever (I'm not keen to digital downloads) and luckily I can afford to buy DVDs to fill my spare time (the piece of it dedicated to watching TV). So I just look for infos on the web about various shows, write down what seems interesting for my tastes, then try to buy it. This should be enough to explain my policy about DVDs.
Besides my personal case, I would like to ask if your future plans include the chance to include other countries to your AOD offer. If I'm right you already wrote about France, but I think it could have sense to try to include even Germany and Italy. The current anime market in Italy is weaker than France or Germany, because in the last years there has been a big drop of anime broadcasting. This drop can be described as HUGE if compared to how many anime were broadcasted in Italy in the 80's. So we have a situation where people in their 30s and 40s buy anime, but they buy anime that were broadcasted in the 80's because now there are really few new anime on TV. The paradox of this situation can be seen if you give a look at the most sold anime series on it is Future Boy Conan (a show from 1978 and first broadcasted in 1981 in Italy...). There are a good amount of people, from 30 to 45 years old, who like to watch anime. The big problem is that most of them have poor skills (or worse) about foreign languages (Italian schools always sucked about foreign languages), so they just stick to what they can find in Italian language, cause they can't follow foreign dubs or subs. So these people just continue to watch and buy stuff from the 80's, and are totally unaware of the existence of good series made after 2000 (aside from Naruto and One Piece).
Since Kazé opened their Italian division, I suppose you will try to release some movies or series in the next future in Italy. Most surely it will be less stuff than France and Germany, because those 2 markets evolved in a different way from Italy, but I suppose you will try to release at least some. Since the demographics I wrote above is a good potential market for you (I would suppose they would be the majority of the potential market), then offering them some series with Italian subs (dubs would be better, but cost much more obviously) would be a good way to show them that they can find some quality anime that wasn't made before 1990.
Just for example, I lent some DVDs to my sister and her boyfriend. They can speak a little French and no English, so I gave them the few anime DVDs I have with Italian language. They showed these DVDs to their friends (who are in the late 30s early 40s), most of them went like "crazy ****, you have Future Boy Conan and Daitarn 3 on DVD, cooooool!", some went on to buy the original DVDs. If they had the chance to watch for free stuff like Samurai Champloo, Moribito, Basilisk, or even stuff a bit older like Jin-Roh and Giant Robo, then I'm sure they would be totally over it.
On one side your revenue from the Italian market is to be expected to be smallest than France, Germany or UK (written in alphabetical order), but on the other side I suppose your costs to add Italy to AOD should be quite smaller than keeping it only for the UK (or UK + France). Once the structure is up, you don't have to pay again the starting costs about technology, organizing and so on. If you buy the rights for 4 countries, then I suppose the total cost should be smaller than the rights for 1 country multiplied by 4. This operation would have the aim to sell DVDs and BDs, and you could get some advantages even there: a big part of the fixed costs of releasing a BD is the mastering, if you can master 1 BD for 4 different markets, than you pay 1/4 instead of full price for mastering, saving quite a bit.
So, if your starting with AOD in the UK is profitable and you want to get profits from your Italian division, then I suppose that adding Italy to the AOD offer would be a good choice. There are people who like anime and are willing to buy it, simply they don't know there are series from the last years they could like. Giving them the chance to watch some streaming anime for free and with comprehensible language can be a good way to lead them to rejuvenate their passion. Ah, boobs and violence are always a good bait for fish.



Za Warudo
Hmm, interesting Teo. So do you really not get shows like Champloo, Bebop, Moribito, ect released on DVD in any form Italian language? Or is it just a case of people being unaware of the existence of them? If none of this modern anime is getting any kind of Italian language release, then that is a truly unfortunate thing.

It's good to be able to get an Italian perspective on things, in this distinctly British forum.


Straw Hat Pirate
Bebop is available in 2 boxsets, the others i Wrote (as far as I know) have never been released with Italian language.
We have a really absurd situation here. You can find tons of DVDs of series that were aired in the 80's: famous ones, minor gems, even the total-uber-crap like Hello Spank. If you want an old series, Italy is the paradise. But if you look for anime series from the last 15 years, the choice is totally limited: Code Geass, Gurren Lagann, Eureka Seven and few others. Besides this, the marketing policies of the Italian publishers are pretty dumb. For example Paranoia Agent and Last Exile were printed in really few copies (not enough to recover the costs!), and then forgotten. So now you can only find used copies, and you need to spend a lot (the single nr.2 of Last Exile goes for about 50 euro, which is sick considering that the whole US boxset costs 20 euro). There are enough requests to warrant a reissue, but nothing. There are various cases of series that were bought and dubbed, then left to rot without ever releasing them. Zeta Gundam is an absurd case: a national television network (owned by that "awesome" mr B) bought and dubbed that series ages ago, and started airing it only some weeks ago on a minor channel that half people can't receive, during all these years they blocked the DVD release because they had the rights to broadcast it first. Total nonsense. If a person is not informed by a friend about the existence of "new" quality anime, then he simply can't know it just conducting a normal life (no advertising anywhere and so on), so he tends to think something like "Japanese cartoons died after 1995, peace", he sticks with his old memories of what he saw in the 80's (if he's old enough), maybe buys some old loved series, and moves on watching US series. That's what happened to me, and what's happening to a lot of people.
People who are 30-45 years old have more money to spend on DVDs than teenagers, and here in Italy there is the particular case that almost all people over 30 were anime fans when children, because in the 80's we literally were flooded with anime. Let these people watch quality series with some mature content, and you have a load of potential customers. You don't need to convince them that anime can be good, they already know it because most of them loved some series from the 80's; you just need to show them that there still are good anime series and those are even more suitable to middle aged people, this way you can get a lot of "new" addicts. If you show Giant Robo to someone who loved Nagai's super robots 30 years ago, then almost surely he will get totally excited. Show some ecchi stuff to someone who liked Fujiko and Lum for showing their boobs in a couple episodes (those were the top erotic stuff in anime at the time), and he'll say "sweet, didn't know it existed, show me more". Show Lain or Death Note to people who like brainy stuff, and you got them. Show Haibane Renmei or 5cm per Second to a woman, and she will ask for more. Show High School of the Dead to a Tarantino lover, and he will wet himself becoming rabid.
The potential is there, what is lacking is a publisher that takes the risks to renew the flame.
BTW, I've just seen that Kazé announced the future BDs for Black Lagoon, 5cm per Second and Murdock Scramble, so it seems my hopes are well put. The problem now is reaching these people in their 30s.



Za Warudo
Well that's what I meant. It seems so unlikely to have a fairly regular Italian poster on UK forum like this, so I was just expressing my gratitude for Teo's posting...not that I don't love you too maestro.


State Alchemist
You get my unique-ish international globetrotting viewpoint of someone who spends half their time in Stoke and half their time in Birmingham, what's not to love?!


I just remembered, doesn't Kazé have access to anime merchandise (I remember it being stated as much at Auchinawa '10) with a focus on supply rather than selling?

Daft question but what's to stop Kazé from selling that merch on AOD?


Straw Hat Pirate
Maxon said:
Italy gets Go Nagai anime and we don't (with the exception of the Mazinkaiser and Kekko Kamen OVAs). I think that makes up for other anime they lack.

Yeah, I know we are lucky about 80's stuff, but I'm a greedy bastard and want everything.

By the way, I'm not interested in turning the attention from the UK to what happens in Italy. Simply I think that trying to unite some different European markets can be a win-win solution both for the publisher and the customers. If Kazé would be able to release an edition that can be sold in France, Germany, Italy and UK, then this would lead to less costs and more profit for Kazé, bigger choice and lower prices for the customers.
Just a simple example. Kazé France will re-release Monster on DVD the next February: ... Itemid=240
It seems a great edition. 74 episodes on 20 DVD, which means maximum 4 episodes per DVD. RRP is 70 euro, which is less than 1 euro per episode. Imagine if the subs in this edition were not only French and Dutch, but even English, German and Italian. Ok, there would not be the dubs, but people interested in this show would be able to get it original. I'm pretty sure many people in this forum would buy it immediately (I would be one). With English subs I suppose they would be able to sell a good amount of copies even to US fans.
Kazé could try to do something similar to many series and movies. I don't know the details about buying rights for more markets for the same release, but I suppose it's achievable. This leads to reducing fixed costs for Kazé. If you can reduce costs, you can reduce the final price. If you reduce final price, you increase sales. If you increase sales, it becomes easier to broaden your market base.
Something similar could have other nice side effects. First. One of the biggest profit losses when working with limited numbers (as far as I know, since I have a bit of experience on how the music market works, not video) is due to missed sales from re-prints. If your standard print run is less than 2000 copies and you sell the first run, then you need a good amount of requests to give a sense to print a second (or third, or fourth...) run. On one side it has no sense to print a run of 100 copies (the more you print the less you spend, if you print only 100 copies even having already paid the masters and everything, it costs too much); on the other side it has no sense to print 1000 copies if you have a request of 100 copies and no certain data to assume this number will increase in the next future. Considering how the anime markets work (good number of different shows, small number of print runs), the loss of revenue from these unborn re-prints becomes quite heavy for the pockets of a publisher. If you broaden the market of your single release by 4 or 5, then you start to be able to make much more re-prints. And the re-prints are the ones that give more profit, because once you sold the first run you already covered all fixed costs (dubs, subs, mastering, artwork and so on). Second. If you are able to satisfy much more re-print requests, then this means much less titles will go out of print, so the fanbase will be much more happy (a happy customer is more willing to spend other money). Third. One release that works for more markets leads to reducing warehouse costs, so more money again for the publisher.
Since Kazé has the chance to chase this policy, I think they have an ace in their hands, working on this side can lead them to become market leaders.
Working on the streaming site is the first step. But personally I would keep in mind that the definitive step would be putting the shows on a TV.

Just another example on what's happening in Italy. The biggest anime publisher is Yamato Video:
most of their releases are stuff from the 80's, the quality of their DVDs is quite crappy but they sell good numbers.
They have a TV channel on sat:
where they broadcast their series and advertise their products.

If Kazé could be able to expand further and creating their own sat channel, this would be a huge win for them, much more than creating a working streaming site.



School Idol
teonzo said:
If Kazé could be able to expand further and creating their own sat channel, this would be a huge win for them, much more than creating a working streaming site.

Yeah, there's a problem with that.

I don't know how big the market is for anime in Italy, but over here in the UK it's very small. The only way an anime can make it big here is if it were a Merchandise Driven show, A critically acclaimed work, A Studio Ghibli Film or anything that's gotten into mainstream pop culture. I mean, anyone here remember Anime Central?