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  •  One problem in the middle of the boom was ... (1+ / 0-)
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    ... Japanese licensors expecting unrealistically high license fees, based on popularity in Japan, when popularity in the US and Japan have nothing like a 1-1 relationship. And then US licensors would get into bidding wars for licenses, which supported the unrealistically high expectations.

    An interview at Anime News Network's ANNcast of someone who was at Geneon at the end talked about the more successful titles being the ones that lost less money than the others. Still, the HQ in Japan wanted them to meet a budget as to how many titles they would release, so they had to keep getting into bidding wars for titles that would never refund their release.

    Also, perhaps in part because of the opaque Japanese distribution system, Japanese physical media royalties are payable on production, not on sale, so if you had a release of 8,000 titles, sent them out to stores, and 4,000 came back, it didn't make any difference in the royalty owed ... it was still the royalty on the 8,000 produced. That helped feed the "fire sale" period of 2007 and 2008 where selling out old inventory was keeping up anime gross sales but not on a sustainable basis.

    Finally, the Japanese tradition, starting from the content limits of high quality VHS, was to sell two-episode volumes at rental store prices, and then later to sell box sets at limited edition premium collector prices. So they looked at the same prices you thought of as high, and they thought of them as dirt cheap. A single pack (11-13 episode) series in Japan will cost in the $100's, if bought a volume at a time.

    People stopped buying the individual volumes long before many of the Japanese-owned US home video distributors were allowed to stop releasing them. What US collectors want are the box-sets, and the collectors market is the bulk of the market left, as both legit and bootleg streaming means that "blind buy" is uncommon, and the collapse of video stores means very few sales take place in the rental market.

    Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

    by BruceMcF on Tue May 28, 2013 at 11:45:55 AM PDT

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