The state of UK anime pricing today

Discussion in 'Anime Industry Discussion' started by Buzz201, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    It's a standard edition, £35 is still pushing it. But let's honest, it probably won't ever go that cheap again, so I went for it.
  2. Jaysgba

    Jaysgba Thousand Master

    £35 for a two-cour isn't pushing it.
  3. IncendiaryLemon

    IncendiaryLemon Captain Karen AUKN Staff

    This. A single cour show is about £25-£30, so I £35 for two cours and an OVA isn't bad at all.
  4. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    It's a standard edition, anything more than £30 for a standard edition is pushing it. (Unless it has 30+ episodes, then I'll be nice.)

    Maybe it's acceptable to anime, but my brain doesn't magically warp it's standards just because something lists Japan as it's country of origin.

    Single cour shows are priced like a joke too. Really Animatsu's £22 for some releases is about right, if a little high.
  5. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

    This is a great value for the set, and for an anime of this length as a whole.

    As much as it might be loathe to admit this, but it's just not realistic to compare anime prices to non-anime DVD prices. I feel like going down that route just leads to endless disappointment (which sadly, seems like it will come more and more common as the Aniplex model becomes more prevalent).
  6. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    I know that, but I'm not going to sit here and pretend £35 for 26 episodes is reasonable. It isn't.

    I can acknowledge it's a good price for an Aniplex product, whilst acknowledging that it's a terrible price in general compared to other video products (both anime and not).
  7. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

    I suppose the thing is though, aside from sales, what's the solution? If the market dictates this - either through licensor restrictions or the sheer need to charge that much to make a profit, what can you do?

    I know lots of people on here say streaming isn't a replacement for cheap physical media, but the brutal reality is that for an increasing majority - it now is. Physical media is fast becoming a semi-obsolete luxury to many, and as any luxury, the price creeps up.
  8. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    The trouble is it isn't. Crunchyroll has announced at 1am, titles will be pulled by 6am. Crunchyroll has altered regions on titles without warning. And this is just within the past three months. (Eccentric Family and Natsume's Book of Friends respectively)..

    It might be a replacement for some, but it still isn't good enough, especially with those idiots at Crunchyroll cornering the market.
  9. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    Then the problem is that streaming needs improvement, not that the consumers should be wasting cash propping up a failing system and filling their ever-tinier homes with tat. If only people who actively specifically want DVD/BDs buy them (which is happening already for most people below a certain age) they'll all end up going up in price across the board and even SEs will be viewed as 'CEs' to a certain audience for whom SEs are unaffordable at any price. And this is why I have such a massive, massive problem with Manganimatsu's strategy of specifically blocking streaming - it's squeezing the poorest people more than anyone. I see that Jerome is still exploring this problem now and I really hope he starts listening to the right people and does the right thing. We've come on leaps and bounds with streaming over the last few years and surely, surely it's not rocket science to get it all working sensibly eventually.

    I have to say that expecting all shows to be available forever is a bit unrealistic. I understand the argument that the lack of a permanent archive copy is damaging - and I agree with it. Knowing you can always go online to watch Haruhi wherever you live, no matter what is what we need to work towards. But the way media is licensed is such a colossal mess right from, from television and radio right the way through to the home video releases (via the BBFC and friends) that it's not something anime can hope to conquer on its own. I'll be very happy if there's a global sea change on media licensing before I'm dead of old age.

    (Speaking of which, Kiss Him, Not Me when, Crunchyroll?)

  10. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    To be honest, I think the biggest issue is here that Crunchyroll are inconsiderate to foreign users. Pulling titles isn't an issue, changing regions isn't an issue, but you have to tell people more than 5 hours beforehand or even at all. I still don't think they've confirmed regions changed for season 4 of Natsume.

    And 5 hours might have been reasonable if it was 7PM GMT, but it wasn't, it was 1am, and when I asked Miles, he just came up with some ******** excuse. ("I told you as soon as I knew".) A lot of CR's staff just come across as really arrogant to me, sadly I don't see there service improving much any time soon...
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  11. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    I think CR deals are always down to the wire; if they announced the pull in advance their partner (who was presumably asking for more money or something) would have thought it was a deliberate tactic to make them look bad, or an admission that CR weren't interested in negotiation, and the deal would be off. If they hold back announcing until they know for sure, they might get an extension. Or something.

    Not that I'm saying it doesn't suck, because either way it still definitely sucks.

    Actually, in the specific cases you cite there may be more complicated reasons. It seems that some companies license to Crunchyroll for a short period only then it's down to the local companies, and streaming rights are often bundled with home video contracts now that companies are specifically requesting them (Funimation said they always want streaming rights in a podcast and Funimation are pretty important in global licensing). The silliness with the Attack On Titan availability in the UK once Manga UK's release was on the cards is an example that made me think of it.

    I wonder whether MVM has any UK streaming rights to Eccentric Family, and whether they could arrange something for us? It took Andrew ages to get Crunchyroll listening to him but it would be a nice win if we could get UK-exclusive content on there from other companies in cases where this has happened. Of course, MVM might simply not have any rights themselves in this case. I have no idea. It would be good for their CE sales to ensure that people can work up an appetite for the series, though, since blind buying a show like that isn't going to be common.

    The Natsume Yuujinchou thing is completely annoying (I think it was a different publisher or something and they're just jerks?) Region locking streams needs to die a death if people can't make arrangements for those outside the catered-for region on other platforms. Again, the true responsibility there is with the JP company and they should be told off wherever possible, because I do believe that CR is trying to license everything for everywhere and crush all of the competition out of the industry. Love them or hate them for it, leaving the UK off goes against their game plan. As for the Japanese companies which do this, it's a crummy way to do business and it encourages piracy.

    I know you don't like it when I split things but I think this lengthier discussion warrants a split from the sales thread so it's going to be done shortly (sorry!)

  12. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    Maybe it would benefit CR to set an artificial deadline and make it clear to their partners that they have to announce delistings early. Because they chose 5 hours beforehand for Eccentric Family, I don't see why they can't just choose 10 hours beforehand instead.

    I understand there are difficulties, but ultimately we spent a long time pay more than the Americans for our subscriptions. It's only thanks to Brexit that we pay less. We deserve equal consideration at least.

    From what UKA have said, MVM don't buy streaming rights because they won't use them.

    For what it's worth, I'm not sure CR are still listening to Andrew or Kiss Him Not Me! would already be live....

    I believe season 4 and 5 were published by ADK, as opposed to Aniplex. And when season 5 had different regions, season 4 changed too. Perhaps it was legal issues, perhaps it was technical difficulties, perhaps it was human error. Could just be that the contract for season 4 came up for renewal and they chose to combine the contract with season 5. Either way, not warning us it would happen, they announced season 5 was coming was kinda crappy of them.

    This is off-topic, but I have no issue with you moving things. I just have questions over the intent and positioning of the "Aniplex Price Complaints" thread. But that has nothing specifically do with you either (you neither created nor positioned it), and it's not that big a deal, so it doesn't really matter.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  13. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    To be honest, it would really have to be 3 weeks or so or nobody's actually going to be able to watch the whole thing anyway unless they happened to be awake, completely free and signed up on that specific day. Their announcements would definitely benefit from giving plenty of actual advance warning - I suspect at least some of it is to drive artificial demand for physical products and keep the DVD/BD licensors sweet and forking over nice minimum guarantees. Which is scummy if companies are asking for it, and while CR are far from saints it goes against their acquisition of money and popularity so I can't see it being directly their fault. But as Eccentric Family is handled by very chilled out companies both in the US and UK, it seems unlikely that happened here. Oh to be able to corner a rep at a con one day.

    That's the (perfectly reasonable) consumer perspective. Crunchyroll's is that the Americans bring in $x,000,000 while we bring in $x,000 even though we're individually paying the same kind of fees. I honestly feel that they're trying to improve, though. The deals with AL (as rocky as they seem to have become... seriously, I wanted to watch that show) has to be a poor effort:reward endeavour on Crunchyroll's part but it's so important for us to have that kind of system set up when Hulu isn't out here and Animax/Viewster kind of suck. I honestly believe that CR fight to get true worldwide access as it makes their lives simpler and their coffers fuller, so if there's a regioning problem I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and lay the blame on their partners.

    Ah, so if the licensor forced a streaming bundle on them and they didn't use it, it could well bring about this kind of situation where the licensor incorrectly assumes it's a value-add deal for MVM and MVM understandably don't want to have to micromanage streaming for what amounts to peanuts in revenue so everyone sits on their hands bound by contracts nobody really wants to deal with, even though nobody is actively against a UK stream existing the way the folks at Manganimatsu are. In some cases - and this is conjecture - with MVM and NISA working together with NagiAsu it's probably not impossible that they might have sublicensed some shows from a US company with UK rights (like the infamous deals Funimation is always chasing) and then the rights for the UK could sit in limbo with a US company which will never use them (like the infamous Funimation deals prior to this summer).

    I wish the rights would just stay with the Japanese companies and go straight to as many streaming services as possible so people on no budget can watch with ads anywhere in the world and people with cash can subscribe. If the local companies want rights too to better target a local audience (e.g. Manga UK's strong belief in Netflix, which I hate because you have to pay and I don't watch western TV) then they can go for it; the more the merrier. But having a global, accessible stream for every possible piece of content is surely the best way to build a good relationship up with buyers.

  14. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    I suppose so, but I doubt MVM would deliberately go for a deal.

    I'm not sure Jerome is pro-Netflix, so much as anti-CR. It seems CR were requesting exclusivity clauses and just generally not helping him out, so he doesn't want to go for it. Though after that prolonged twitter discussion, it seems like maybe he was willing to take a reduced minim guarantee for better terms, if CR was willing to give him it.

    To be honest, I was just curious about what this big hit he has on his production slate is. (I'm assuming he wasn't talking about ITCOTW.)
  15. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    Yeah, Jerome is definitely heavily anti-CR. It's a mixture of belief in his own business plan and personal bitterness about how CR started out (it's not like Manga had an especially illustrious past either - it took years of begging and whining for them to even start doing subbed anime or television series at all, but of course that was all before Jerome came on board so I'm not saying he was to blame). Difficult to change his mind so I was pleasantly hopeful to read his musings recently which seemed to be less frustrating than the 'no streaming ever except where I can monetise it and lock it down' stance we were seeing before.

    CR seem to be able to coexist happily with the likes of Sentai and Funimation (despite them having their own platforms and using other third party services where they exist) so I'd like to see the UK industry catch up eventually. MVM's situation is a bit stickier since they're so tiny and it's unfair to ask them to put the time in to arrange a service they don't really care about either way. Having the Japanese side manage their streaming direct with the global providers seems a much better deal for the companies which just don't want to get involved at all without actively opposing access. If Jerome thinks he can make make anime a big thing on Netflix in the UK without ruining simulcasting or making me pay double in subscriptions for one decent show per season, screw exclusivity either way and just let him try. It's good for everyone if he succeeds.