Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowadays

Morcombe

Student Council President
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

the old model of single DVD releases really was stupid, thankfully it's gone for the most part now, I just wish they'd get rid of this part 1 and 2 stuff for 24 episode shows now, I like my complete collection sets cause it saves shelf space.

I don't know how you can disagree with the facts, anime back in the day cost you £20 a shot, so it was costing you £60-80 for a 12/13 episode show and £160 for a 24 episodes show, wether you agree with it or not or supported it or not that's what it cost, complete collections weren't a guarantee back then, I don't think adv started those type of releases until late 2007/early 2008 when the single volume model finally started to die and then they wur outta business a year later so a few series never got complete collection releases like Rune Soldier and Utawarerumono and if they did I can't find em anywhere.

I am not saying that's what the shows should cost you as looking back now I think we were majorly ripped off, doesn't change the fact that it is what you had to pay if you wanted the show.

Complete sets weren't that cheap either, HMV the one I visited at least wanted £60-70 for collections like Wolf's Rain and Excel saga (2 shows that somebody really should be re-releasing cause I want them and I don't do imports lol)

as for my spending habits I don't really have any, I have a monthly budget and in order to get the most in that limit I will buy the cheaper options which is why last months budget saw me buy Attack on Titan and Magi on DVD instead of Blu-Ray (DVD's were £15/16 while blu-ray were all over £20, so I saved about £25 which let me buy another series which funnily enough was a blu-ray release of Madoka Magica because it was only £2 higher than the DVD). I only really buy blu-ray if thur having a deal, only very slightly more than the DVD (£3 max) or if thur through pre-orders as you usually get the lowest price for them during that period and I only started doing pre-orders in the last month.

Anime is certainly not cheap but I can afford a lot more now than I did just 5 years ago
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

HdE said:
when anime is cheaper / more affordable, do people buy more of it?
I imagine it enables people who were already buying anime to buy more of it because their money then goes further. That doesn't however translate into more money for the distributors, because I don't think lower prices alone encourage people who weren't already buying anime to become consumers - Certainly not enough of them to pick up the slack from the price drop AND deliver extra profit.

All signs point to anime being the price it is because that's the price at which it's profitable enough for distributors to bother releasing it. Growing a market requires more than just lowering prices - It requires publicity and a receptive potential audience. Publicity is expensive, and is the potential audience who don't already consume anime really large enough (and do they have the purchasing power) that it's worth spending all that money reaching them?

I think at the end of the day anime is a niche interest (vastly different from mainstream TV and movies) and probably always will be, for a variety of social and economic factors which are not easily or cheaply solvable. Prices and release models will continue to reflect that.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Good points, Ayase. I think my biggest fear is that the current models for new releases could become unsustainable without a growing (or at least stable) fan base. I can see Japanese studios and their dictates pushing prices above what we're currently seeing - a worry that was partway validated by a distributor in another thread. And if sales are low, that can only aggravate that situation.

I'd love to get an industry insider's opinion on the point of selling to new customers vs selling MORE to existing ones. It seems like one of those things that's impossible to guess at.

I guess the extent I can really comment on that is to say that I've known people who bought anime when they saw it available fairly cheaply. As in, people who weren't necessarily fans in the sense that everyone here is. I have pals who borrowed my Cowboy Bebop DVDs who went on to buy Anime Limited's complete collection on blu ray, for example. Will they buy anime again? I dunno. But they do pick up the odd thing like Appleseed Alpha and whatever Ghibli stuff catches their eye in Tescos. Are these folks an anomaly, or is there a casual market of folks like this out there waiting to be tapped? I couldn't say.

I CAN say that alot of folks have asked me to recommend some anime to them by way of a taster they can check out to see if they get on with it. I have a lot of difficulties here. Sometimes, there's nothing that works for them. They may be reluctant to region hack their DVD player (yes, that's a thing) or order goods from the USA. So anything in Funimation's S.A.V.E. line is out. Short of having Amazon up on a computer in front of me, I just can't tell them anything beyond 'go and look for yourself.' That's a bit frustrating.

It's also a big, big part of why this is such a bone of contention with me. Remember, what constitutes 'cheap' to us confirmed fans doesn't necessarily go over the same way with casually interested parties. £25 - 35 for a complete series collection seems entirely fair to me in a lot of cases. But for somebody where there's the added risk of 'oh, I dunno if I'll like it', it could be a turn off.

That's why I take the view that there need to be more publicity and advertising. Sure, it costs a lot. But the job of advertising is to convince people that your product is cool and woth buying. And hey, it's not like it's a lie!

Right now, it feels to me liek a lot of people in every avenue of entertainment don't want to promote or advertise because of perceived risk. This goes han in hand with an attitude of 'making do' by selling to a reliable base of consumers. That's a broken business plan. You HAVE to encourage new punters. And I think that is happening... it just warrants a little extra effort. Not just to keep prices at any given level, but to keep peopel in the business of selling our beloved 'toons.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Just to address this:

Morcombe said:
I don't know how you can disagree with the facts...
I'm not really disagreeing. Just offering a perspective. I keep repeating thsi point when these discussions come up. Really don't get why some folks have a hard time getting it. That perspective, like it or not, is something I think may actually be harming the UK market for anime, or maybe accounts for a few losses of sales. Or maybe it doesn't? Who knows?

To clarify, this is what I'm saying:
The options you mentioned for buying anime exist. Sure. No denying that. You can buy a show in single volumes and pay a premium for it. You can buy a super whizz bang limited edition set with postcards, booklets, coffee coasters and plushies out the wazoo. Those options exist.

But for some fans - and I know I take a risk when I speak on behalf of these ill-defined entities - don't want that. Hence my comment above about certain arguments becoming 'noise'. Paying £20 per volume for a 12 or 13 episode show feels like a bad deal to some, so they don't do it. Hence, they limit purchases to complete collections - which we're kind of conditioned to expect to be cheaper.

Bottom line, you're right when you say the single volume sales model is stupid. It doesn't work. It potentially loses money. So yes, it's stupid. The real problem for some folks arises when they've been availing themselves of the option to buy a whole show in one package... and suddenly the price of that complete package (brand new) feels comparable to paying out the cost of a 7 volume set in the old days.

When that happens, some folks couldnt care less about the facts. They'll simply shrug, move on and spend money elsewhere.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

I'd like to chime in with a vote for singles being the superior release format.

And also that I just ordered the UK BD set of DRRR!! for £23.50 on Amazon, so I'm leaning firmly towards "no" as my answer to the topic question.
 

Morcombe

Student Council President
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

ilmaestro said:
I'd like to chime in with a vote for singles being the superior release format.

And also that I just ordered the UK BD set of DRRR!! for £23.50 on Amazon, so I'm leaning firmly towards "no" as my answer to the topic question.
I think it's only that cheap because there is a problem with the subtitles and there is a new version coming out that fixes it.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Which you can get for free if you buy the original version...

They also have the first Kill La Kill set for the same price.
 

Gavrev

Dandy Guy, in Space
Interesting to see someone else asking this question. I posted something similar quite recently, questioning whether things had become a bit more expensive overall. The initial points raised in the opening shots of this thread are very valid. I tend to feel that the anime community is pretty loyal towards the creators, and I would be willing to bet that the lion's share of any piracy is down to fans wanting to own/see shows which are unavailable, or stuck in western release hell like (the now legendary!?) Evangelion 3.33.

My particular beef with this subject relates to the minimal differentiation which seems to be the case between buying in store and online. Though there are exceptions it seems that a lot of material is out there with online prices reflecting what one would expect to see on the shelf rather than the shops competing to match what may be anticipated online, as seemed to be the case not too long ago. "A Lull in the Sea" is a good example of that, being a 12 episode Part 1 release for about £25, compared to "Captain Planet", another recent 12 episode Part 1 release which seems to be sat on the shelf at a more expected £14.99.
 

Smeelia

Thousand Master
Gavrev said:
My particular beef with this subject relates to the minimal differentiation which seems to be the case between buying in store and online. Though there are exceptions it seems that a lot of material is out there with online prices reflecting what one would expect to see on the shelf rather than the shops competing to match what may be anticipated online, as seemed to be the case not too long ago. "A Lull in the Sea" is a good example of that, being a 12 episode Part 1 release for about £25, compared to "Captain Planet", another recent 12 episode Part 1 release which seems to be sat on the shelf at a more expected £14.99.
I'm guessing you mean "Captain Earth", unless there was a recent release of Captain Planet (Heart all the way).

I think these days, shops and online tend to target different customers so there's not as much reason for them to compete/compare. Physical shops tend to serve people who can't go online or want to just drop in and walk out with something right away, online shops target pretty much everyone else. I find that Physical shops tend to charge more because they presumably need to and their customers are generally willing to pay a bit extra to get the product in their hands. Online shops tend to be cheaper for similar reasons, they can afford to be and their customers might want to feel they've saved money by waiting for a delivery.

I may be misunderstanding but are you suggesting that shops are selling things cheaper than you can get online? I don't go into shops very often these days and that's at least partly because their prices are almost always higher than online prices. If you have a shop that's selling anime at a better price, it sounds like you're just lucky.

I suppose it's possible that there could be a movement towards online shops becoming more expensive on the basis that people are generally using them already and might be willing to pay more to save a trip to a physical shop. I haven't noticed evidence of that but I can't say I'm paying close attention to such things. I would say that Amazon are more laid back about having the best prices these days and don't seem to put as much effort into undercutting people.

I don't pay too much attention to DVD release prices these days since I'll generally only buy Blu-ray releases (with a few exceptions) so I can't really comment on the idea of £15 being standard for a new anime DVD release. A quick glance at some of the online prices suggests that they are subject to significant variation so it may be a matter of buying at the right place and the right time (although not many that I looked at were less than £15, at least for anything relatively new). I have noticed that DVD and Blu-ray prices tend to be quite close leading up to release of a new show (and perhaps for a little while after), which I find interesting since it'd give you less reason to buy the DVD version if Blu-ray is an option.
 

Gavrev

Dandy Guy, in Space
:lol: Yep.. I meant Captain Earth.. Hahahaahah.. That'll keep me awake howling with laughter all night..

Yeah I think you did misunderstand me (hehehe) though you can sometimes find a bargain in the high street if you catch them at the right time. You got it when you talk about Amazon maybe not putting in as much effort to compete. I think that's probably what's happening. Complacency has a way of sneaking in like that. A good point about the DVD and Bluray issue - even though I don't as yet own Bluray, I have picked up a few DVD/Bluray sets, mostly anime on the grounds that I will eventually and so it seemed silly not to. Anime related purchases have been Patema Inverted, HAL and the one which I couldn't possibly miss - the steel book release of AKIRA, all of which have involved a measly £3 or so extra to get both. AKIRA was an absolute bargain at that rate. I was going to buy the DVD anyway, so I effectively got the Bluray of the movie for £3. How can you go wrong by thinking ahead like that?
 

Smeelia

Thousand Master
Gavrev said:
A good point about the DVD and Bluray issue - even though I don't as yet own Bluray, I have picked up a few DVD/Bluray sets, mostly anime on the grounds that I will eventually and so it seemed silly not to.
That's how I started too, I'd say it's worth saving up for the benefits of Blu-ray even if it means having less to watch for a while (though being a hoarder that wasn't as much of an issue for me, the real issue is having to go back and upgrade my favourites where possible).
 
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