The challenges of releasing anime on newer formats in the UK

britguy

Za Warudo
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Buzz201 said:
He'd be more likely to consider it, if prices were attractive to him.
Facts pulled from ones anus part 1 :wink:

Physical media will be replaced by an all digital future, so your fear of new fans being blocked from buying physical due to price barriers is a moot one imo.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

britguy said:
Physical media will be replaced by an all digital future, so your fear of new fans being blocked from buying physical due to price barriers is a moot one imo.
I hate to point it out, but Japan hasn't whole-heartedly embraced digital download-to-own releases either, so I guess we better hope Crunchyroll keeps it's act together...
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

I think it's worth re-iterating the whole 'what happens when the fans move on' argument. Fans move on all the time - they find new priorities new hobbies, new things to spend their cash on instead of this thing we all love and adore called anime.

Back in 2006, we had a mass influx of people buying Manga's DVDs (basically, Naruto), and that no doubt swelled the ranks of the wider anime buying public. But the days of Cardcaptors and Digimon on CITV are long gone, and while it's easy to imagine things are hunky dory with the few hundred of us hardcore fans keeping the UK industry alive, if that pool of fans doesn't get new blood into it, it's not going to do it any favours.
 

britguy

Za Warudo
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Buzz201 said:
britguy said:
Physical media will be replaced by an all digital future, so your fear of new fans being blocked from buying physical due to price barriers is a moot one imo.
I hate to point it out, but Japan hasn't whole-heartedly embraced digital download-to-own releases either, so I guess we better hope Crunchyroll keeps it's act together...
Evetually, if they want titles to be licensed in markets heavily leaning towards digital, then they will need to adapt. Streaming/Digital ownership and Limited Edition physical releases are the only way forward I see for the markets in the west.
 

serpantino

Thousand Master
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

britguy said:
Physical media sales are declining, and it is likely the start of a trend.. The reason? DIgital media. This is the cheaper entry level alternative for new curious fans, not low priced DVDs/Blu-Rays. Your netflix. your crunchroll....this will be the gateway, and most who go there will be more than happy to remain there.

A digital future is an unfortunate eventuality, physical media will be the domain of the collectors. There is no way of reversing this trend. The only way companies will be able to make money are through the pricier LE business models, everyone else will be left to stream/own digitally.

Most of the world still doesnt have the kind of internet connection available to make digital distribution viable & streaming services like Netflix is very time limited (some things are only on there for 3 months) and speed limited (I can't even watch netflix right now because my connection is only running at 2.3mbps due to the local exchange being overcrowded.)

Digital media distribution will be the worst era for consumers. It's already pushed for and abused by companies because it allows them to be very selective with who they allow to distribute, thus giving them greater control of the price & allowing them to artificially retain it (digital stuff hardly ever gets permanent price reductions).

We're a long way from lossless a/v becoming standard for dd so what you're getting is lesser quality than a physical release yet at a higher or equivalent price with no guarantee of future proofing because companies will find a way to gradually phase it out when it ceases selling and is just costing them server space.



I know this discussion isn't directly related to mvm but it's still very interesting to see people's views & opinions.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Buzz201 said:
You're missing my point, the man on the street doesn't care that anime distributors are small, if you want to get him interested in anime, you need to be able to compete with studios like Universal and Warner Bros. who can offer great price points on their blu-rays. As much as this isn't MVM or anybody in the UK's fault, eventually this type of pricing structure will destroy the industry.
THANK YOU.

I think the discussion in the last page or so of this thread has been really intelligent. While I don't think the industry is in immediate threat of immediate decline, stuff like Aniplex and NISA prices don't engender much goodwill in certain sectors.

I don't think physical releases are going away anytime soon. People will always want a physical product they can own. Even if they don't avail themselves of such a thing very often, people seem to still want that. And it's becoming acknowledged that digital platforms do NOT work for everybody.

The key in this discussion is BALANCE. It's unrealistic to expect an anime distributor to put out movies or TV shows that are in line with the price of mainstream entertainment, sure. But some concession will ALWAYS have to be made to the fact that, like it or not, and however much we as fans might argue the finer points and the right or wrong of it, anime exists in the West alongside a huge glut of other, more affordable entertainment material.

A lot of entertainment based industries are seemingly fixed on a strategy of continuing to sell their pre-existing consumer base. Obviously that makes sense. But some industries don't seem to be looking too far beyond that group. I wouldn't like to speculate how much this could be a problem with anime, or to what extent distributors are maybe prevented from doing more by circumstances.

But yes, the man on the street is somebody who has to be acknowledged. Because the challenge is to turn the man on the street into a fan who'll spend money. And it can be done. (Shameless self aggrandisement: I've been told in the last week by two folks who follow me on Facebook that they've bought anime for the first time ever. How cool is that?) We shouldn't forget - it's easy for us to become opinionated and push our own particular ideas about asking prices, RRPs, market strategies, etc - but we're the blessed few who care enough about anime to post on a forum about it and follow the industry online.

I would say, this is the very crowd the business-heads need to look beyond to grow sales. Biggest complaint about anime among curious non-fans I hear? "It costs too much."

Ironically, this discussion is happening in the thread for the distributor that shows the most laudable commitment to making anime available to folks at street level prices. Gotta love that Deal of the Week!
 

serpantino

Thousand Master
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Well ironically the discussion started about how mvm needs to put more focus into blu-ray releases.

I do love that dotw though, it's just the sort of thing that needs more exposure.
Whilst i've pushed on about standard releases at attractive prices I also think anime needs to be pushed back into the public eye more.
When I was younger major shows like Dragonball z were on cartoon network & hugely popular. Then there was the SciFi channel which had their late night anime sessions. Comics & games magazines were also full of anime adverts.t
 

Smeelia

Thousand Master
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

I don't think an "all-digital" future is an absolute certainty, I'd agree with HdE that there will still be people who want to collect things and that there are always going to be different groups hoping to be catered to.

One way to grow the market is to let people sample the product and get addicted so that they understand it's value and are willing to pay prices that might not match those of other forms of entertainment. I guess that's tough to do but I'd say that's the idea behind some companies having things available on Crunchyroll, Viewster and Netflix. Physical and Digital options aren't necessarily in competition, one can be used to introduce people to the other and having both work together is generally going to be better than just focussing on either one.

It's a bit easier for Japan to maintain the fanbase because anime mostly appears on TV there. People can sample it and then once it has it's hooks into them they're doomed. We don't really have that so much outside of Japan but I think that companies do seem to be making more of an effort to make things available somewhere.

Getting back to the other topic, I do wonder how good the Deal of the Week is for MVM. I guess it's worth more to them to sell things through their own store so the lower prices probably don't hurt too much and maybe end up squeezing a bit more out of titles that have been ignored/forgotten. If MVM do keep growing their list of Blu-ray releases I wonder if it'd be worthwhile trying something like a Blu-ray Deal of the Month, where titles could be put on for something like £12-15. Maybe they just don't feel they need to bother with sales for Blu-ray, though it's interesting that there have been a few releases that didn't meet their expectations and I wonder if this kind of thing might help make up for that.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Smeelia said:
I don't think an "all-digital" future is an absolute certainty, I'd agree with HdE that there will still be people who want to collect things and that there are always going to be different groups hoping to be catered to.

One way to grow the market is to let people sample the product and get addicted so that they understand it's value and are willing to pay prices that might not match those of other forms of entertainment. I guess that's tough to do but I'd say that's the idea behind some companies having things available on Crunchyroll, Viewster and Netflix. Physical and Digital options aren't necessarily in competition, one can be used to introduce people to the other and having both work together is generally going to be better than just focussing on either one.
I thought a more likely strategy would be to use cheaper digital releases in lieu of a standard edition (be it streaming or download to own), and then just release an ultra-expensive ultra-nice collector's edition for physical fans. Hopefully, you'd then be able to get the best of both worlds, and hover up as much money as possible from both ends of the market.
 

Smeelia

Thousand Master
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Buzz201 said:
I thought a more likely strategy would be to use cheaper digital releases in lieu of a standard edition (be it streaming or download to own), and then just release an ultra-expensive ultra-nice collector's edition for physical fans. Hopefully, you'd then be able to get the best of both worlds, and hover up as much money as possible from both ends of the market.
It's a possibility. I guess it'd be similar to the way it works in Japan and it does seem to be along the lines of what some companies are aiming for.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Really interesting to read some points of view elaborated on over the last couple of pages. The only thing I disagree massively with is that you can get people interested in something based primarily on price, but other than that some good stuff all around.
 

britguy

Za Warudo
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Buzz201 said:
Smeelia said:
I don't think an "all-digital" future is an absolute certainty, I'd agree with HdE that there will still be people who want to collect things and that there are always going to be different groups hoping to be catered to.

One way to grow the market is to let people sample the product and get addicted so that they understand it's value and are willing to pay prices that might not match those of other forms of entertainment. I guess that's tough to do but I'd say that's the idea behind some companies having things available on Crunchyroll, Viewster and Netflix. Physical and Digital options aren't necessarily in competition, one can be used to introduce people to the other and having both work together is generally going to be better than just focussing on either one.
I thought a more likely strategy would be to use cheaper digital releases in lieu of a standard edition (be it streaming or download to own), and then just release an ultra-expensive ultra-nice collector's edition for physical fans. Hopefully, you'd then be able to get the best of both worlds, and hover up as much money as possible from both ends of the market.
That's what I've been saying all along. A digital future with physical reserved for the collectors who pay a premium for collector edition/limited releases
 

Shiroi Hane

Dragon Knight
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

"the next format is no format, and the smart money is getting out of what the Japanese call ‘packaged goods’ – which is to say the actual, physical discs that anime currently comes on. Ten years from now, I suspect, there will still be DVDs in existence, but they will be much more bespoke, much rarer, and hence much more collectible" - Jonathan Clements, 2012.
http://schoolgirlmilkycrisis.com/2012/0 ... s-to-come/
 

Yami

Hunter
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

While this discussion has been anime-focused it's representative of the physical disc as a whole: Hollywood studios have been licensing out more and bigger titles than they have before, limited editions are more prevalent, releases tending to be more expensive. This goes to show that they don't see much value in releasing back catalogue in 2015, while in the glory days of DVD they released just about everything they had a master for.

In fact, I was just reading an interview with Arrow Video (in French) and I thought this put it well from the label's perspective:

Arrow has been operating for many years now. What are the challenges that you have faced and how have you approached them?

The physical market is waning rapidly. This is felt directly on sales of catalog titles, where the latest movies are always easier to sell: their marketing budget is bigger and a recent movie or TV series always have a greater interest to the general public.
Young viewers who have grown up with digital technology do not seem interested in owning movies on physical media. Indeed, we see our primary market as an older group (thirties and forties), making it difficult for new fans to join our current audience
So our already limited audience has gradually reduced and we have had to adjust our publishing model. We did it in a clear and transparent manner, and this is reflected in our products: we went to expensive packaging products released in separate formats (DVD on one side, Blu Ray on the other) to combos and simpler packaging, and finally to a model that works with limited editions.
This comes from the British Video Association:



I suspect that the digital portion of the pie will continue to widen.

In 2011, the BVA also put together a report on the future of the video industry that interestingly found that

Of those surveyed, 59% are 'Digital Sceptics' who do not foresee a time when most or all of their film or TV programme purchasing will be digital streaming or downloading. In response to the same question, nearly 24% of those surveyed were 'Digitally Reluctant' ‐ they reluctantly anticipate paying for most of their video consumption through digital services because that's the way they see the market developing. Just over 17% of those surveyed are 'Digital Enthusiasts' (typically males under 35 years of age) who are looking forward to the digital future.
However, while the physical nature of the product was the most important reason for scepticism, at 36% it still isn't a massive number - technical concerns were almost as important. And that was done nearly 5 years ago now - I'd be very surprised if the same results were replicated today when Netflix and other services have taken root, smart TVs are more common and faster broadband isn't as expensive as it was.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

I'm not sure those figures will have changed much, the digital industry is still plagued by the pesky problem of people not actually owning digital purchases. This sounds ridiculous, but when you buy most digital content, you aren't buying the content, you're normally buying a licence to view the content. A licence that can legally be revoked at any time without recompense.

Until DRM-free downloads become common, I can't see digital purchases being fully embraced by media enthusiasts. At one point, I heard that most of the major Hollywood studios were looking at them, but nobody wanted to be the first studio to do it in case it backfired. I'm guessing that either wasn't the case or still nobody has the guts to actually do it.
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Something else I think will keep Physical media going into the near future is file size. Blu Ray quality films are large in file size. You're talking about 15-20gb a film, if not more depending on length. It would be worse for Anime and TV Shows. I mean, when you look at Anime blu ray releases, depending on the length of the series, you're talking at least 3 discs per series for 12-13 episode shows or about 5 or 6 for 2 cour shows. Even more for shows like Fullmetal Alchemist, JoJo or god forbid Naruto or DBZ or something. That would make it a minimum of 45gb for a short show, 75gb for a long show and god knows how much for a really long show. That's assuming they're using BD25s not BD50s, if they are the latter then the file size shoots up again. Sure you could compress the files but then you loose the quality you'd get by buying physical media but at (probably) the same cost.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

The average punter doesn't understand/care about DRM though (even though they probably should) - it's a classic case of out of sight, out of mind. They'd only care when they look one day to see their favourite service has closed and they've lost all their movies. Until we see a situation like this (which I'm sure we will over the next few years, as the market starts to consolidate and some of the key players of the moment back out), I don't think that will change.
 

Yami

Hunter
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

IncendiaryLemon said:
Something else I think will keep Physical media going into the near future is file size. Blu Ray quality films are large in file size. You're talking about 15-20gb a film, if not more depending on length. It would be worse for Anime and TV Shows. I mean, when you look at Anime blu ray releases, depending on the length of the series, you're talking at least 3 discs per series for 12-13 episode shows or about 5 or 6 for 2 cour shows. Even more for shows like Fullmetal Alchemist, JoJo or god forbid Naruto or DBZ or something. That would make it a minimum of 45gb for a short show, 75gb for a long show and god knows how much for a really long show. That's assuming they're using BD25s not BD50s, if they are the latter then the file size shoots up again. Sure you could compress the files but then you loose the quality you'd get by buying physical media but at (probably) the same cost.
That's true, but I'm not sure that the people who care much about the best possible video quality are those who would readily adopt digital download. I see Blu-Ray collectors as being those least likely to give up physical media, though I could be wrong.

However, I'm not sure that the idea of ownership is that big of a deal. Is digital download/rental the way forward or a subscription to a service such as Netflix? While music was dominated by iTunes, it seems that may shift in favour of streaming services in the future and I wouldn't be surprised to see video be the same. If it isn't already - it's anecdotal evidence but I know far more people with a Netflix/Amazon instant account than ever downloaded a film or series via iTunes
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Re: [UK Anime Distributor] MVM Entertainment Discussion Thread

Shiroi Hane said:
"the next format is no format, and the smart money is getting out of what the Japanese call ‘packaged goods’ – which is to say the actual, physical discs that anime currently comes on. Ten years from now, I suspect, there will still be DVDs in existence, but they will be much more bespoke, much rarer, and hence much more collectible" - Jonathan Clements, 2012.
http://schoolgirlmilkycrisis.com/2012/0 ... s-to-come/
Isn't this what everyone in every media industry has been saying for years? If anything I'd say he's more likely to be wrong about there still being DVDs in ten years' time.
 
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