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Old 2012-02-06, 17:24   Link #21
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
I think there's a need though - there are a lot of people out there with mild guilt who would like to contribute somehow - besides actually buying 18$ CDs and etc.
As a rather seriously-committed anime merchandise buyer, I can't really say I can relate to the idea of not wanting to own something physical. Even discounting things like CDs, DVDs, BDs, and the like, there are also manga, novels, games, artbooks, figures, character goods, and more. I still wouldn't necessarily think of any of it as a means to assuage guilt, but I guess it's hard for me to imagine not having anything to show for the hobbies I enjoy. But I guess that's the collector mentality for you...

Still, as james0246 alluded to, it'd still probably be more effective to buy merchandise and give the merchandise away if you don't want it, since that way you're not only supporting the industry, but you're spreading it to others who may later be driven to purchase merchandise themselves.

But if it's just a matter of "I'm not willing to spend more than $5 even though I loved the product"... then I'm not sure there's much of a business model there. Or, at least, it would take an awful lot of donors to make up for one person buying a whole TV series on Japanese Blu-Ray discs (which typically retail for $450+). I'm not sure there are that many willing donors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dist View Post
Japanese people get to watch it free on their TV; but I don't live in Japan, so all I have are torrents.
This is sort of a side-topic, but this is a bit of an over-simplification that often annoys people who live in Japan. Watching anime in Japan usually requires either a cable or satellite subscription, sometimes living in certain areas where specific channels are offered, sometimes paying extra for Pay-TV stations, and either staying up real late (like midnight to 3am), or buying a PVR so you can "time-shift". Plus, unless you have a PVR and can archive, it's not like you then have a perfectly usable copy you can keep for all-time. The legal online alternatives in Japan are almost all pay services that don't generally allow for free streams. So even with our legal streaming services like Crunchyroll, we still have it really good compared to what a Japanese fan would have to go through just to legally watch anime that's supposedly "free". So, as an argument/justification, it's really of limited value, since it's more perception than fact.
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Old 2012-02-06, 18:05   Link #22
james0246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
Given sufficient community interest, maybe publishers would create paypal accounts for fan donations.
I have to wonder if such an account is actually legal. Simply giving money to a business without receiving anything in return (outside of illegally acquired "merchandise") seems horrendously shady and downright illegal. Said company would be, more or less, profiting off of an illegal activity.

That being said, I still don't mind being your Soupy Sales.... Just send your "funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents" (or the electronic equivalent) to me and I will see that they are used to support the Anime Industry (I'll even "donate" them to the company of your choice...).

edit: btw, just like Soupy, I am joking.
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Old 2012-02-06, 19:16   Link #23
Reckoner
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Isn't this essentially arguing for something like an itunes for anime.
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Old 2012-02-06, 19:27   Link #24
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If it is fansubbers you want to support directly then why not just take a few extra weblink clicks and go to their site to see if they have a paypal donate link there? I have seen a few that have those....

To be honest I would not want animesuki to get involved in listing donation links or whatever, though.
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Old 2012-02-06, 20:07   Link #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Isn't this essentially arguing for something like an itunes for anime.
As I mentioned before, iTunes does sell anime. You can buy it per episode (usually with HD and SD options, with SD being cheaper), or you can buy a "season pass" (again with HD and SD options). It seems like they offer dubs, I don't know about subtitle options, and I also don't know how recent their stuff is. I checked and found Angel Beats! on there, so it's not limited to the oldest series or the classics...
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Old 2012-02-06, 21:25   Link #26
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Isn't this essentially arguing for something like an itunes for anime.
It sort of is, except it's saying "let people download the product for free, and then give them an opportunity to pay whatever they want, if they want, after they've consumed it". Some people have used that strategy successfully for a few things, but I can't really imagine many large businesses building a business model on that sort of principle, at least at this time. I think that sort of thing generally requires a sort of personal connection with the author/creator so the donor really feels their money is going to the people who actually created the product and so need/deserve it, and not to (what will inevitably be perceived as) a "large faceless corporation". Otherwise, the typical "money-for-product" exchange probably makes more sense to people -- again, at least right now.
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Old 2012-02-07, 01:41   Link #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
As far as the music industry goes, I don't think this approach has ever been seriously tried. Maybe it would work, but I don't know if it would be sufficient to support the bloated corporate giants that want to sue everyone and kill the internet. As far as I'm concerned they can all go die anyway. I'd welcome a way to directly pay the artists and have no need for a litigious corporation playing middleman.
^ This is another one of those things that annoy me to no end, because it shows ignorance of the entire media-production value chain. The many "layers" exist in modern entertainment industries not because they are leeching from artists, but because the entire "ecosystem" has become so complex that it requires massive and intricate division of labour to produce and distribute mass-media content.

Just to take my own industry, newspapers, for example. Laymen keep thinking it's so easy to produce "journalism" today, pointing to myriad examples of "free" content online. They have little to no idea how much investment in time, human, and monetary resources goes into producing even that little bit of credible information you see online, which people happily rip away, claiming that there is no such thing as "intellectual property", everything is free, yada yada.

There are reasons why the "middlemen" exist. Because if they don't, all you'll get are extremely harried artists wasting resources on a whole lot of tedious logistical tasks when they should be creating instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Also, keep in mind that the anime production system involves a whole lot of companies with a whole lot of stakes in the business. Most anime are produced by a production committee that consists of a number of a different stakeholders who all have their own part in monetizing the initiative (media companies, broadcasters, music labels, game publishers, etc. etc.). The process also supports intermediaries like distributors, licensors, and retailers, who do no less to contribute to the industry through advertising and other marketing initiatives.
^ Props to above. At least someone understands.
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Old 2012-02-07, 06:16   Link #28
Marcus H.
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^ If only those corporate freaks do not exist; money would have gone straight into the wallets of the contributors.

Unfortunately, Ansible, it's how large companies deal with media nowadays. They really don't care much about their customers and instead, only care about the customer's spendings on their merchandise. I don't think that these companies would appreciate the loose change fans would give to them, and even more so, they and the creators wouldn't like it when their expected fans are not buying their products.
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Old 2012-02-07, 09:02   Link #29
SeijiSensei
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Personally I just send Crunchyroll my $7 each month. I once thought about a method of donations to support anime producers, but there are just too many business and legal obstacles to make this happen. If you don't like Crunchy's lineup, you can subscribe to The Anime Network or Funimation instead. Another option is to watch the extensive array of anime now on Hulu and generate some advertising revenues.
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Old 2012-02-07, 12:14   Link #30
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
^ If only those corporate freaks do not exist; money would have gone straight into the wallets of the contributors.
It's true that the system could use some modernizing, and there are some links in the chain that probably profit more than they rightfully deserve due to legacy agreements and corporate culture. However, the whole system supports itself and is what makes it possible to support the wide range of marketing and merchandising initiatives that do support the creators right now. The structure is able to absorb a fair bit of risk and use the success stories to offset the failures. Besides that, in most cases these "corporate freaks" are what are actually paying the creative professionals to create the anime in the first place, and the companies then make their money back through merchandise. Anime requires such long-term planning and up-front investment that it's a lot more difficult for a studio to commit to even a one-cour show if they're dependent on direct support from the fans. You can see for yourself by watching credits that it takes 100+ people to put the average anime episode on air. Most of these studios aren't nearly big or rich enough to afford to take the hit on even one failed project. Not to mention individuals studios don't have nearly the depth of connections with TV stations, retailers/distributors, licensors, talent agencies, music labels, and all the other groups that actually get the players assembled and the product out there. Besides, most of the stories that get adapted are owned by these companies to start with. The relationships run so deep and the connections are all so inter-twined at this point that I'm not sure it's possible to extract the creators and have them somehow fend for themselves, even if the greater risk brings with it the possibility of greater reward. The more complex the initiative, the more infrastructure is needed to support it, and that's actually mutually beneficial.

So all that to say that I think getting rid of the established structure would change the anime industry so radically that we would scarcely recognize it compared to what we see today. Though I'm all for the creative professionals and creators getting a greater share of consumer expenditures, I'm just not sure that it's so easy to break away from the industry... or that, as a viewer, I'd necessarily enjoy the results as much as what we have today.


...so anyway, all that said, I think we may be nearing the conclusion of this thread, as I don't think there's any practical way to implement the suggestion at this time, and many alternatives were proposed about how to support the industry in practical ways at the moment. I'll leave the thread open for a while longer in case anything else comes up, but it will likely get locked at some point as the suggestion isn't feasible.
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Old 2012-02-07, 13:14   Link #31
Ansible
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
I don't think that these companies would appreciate the loose change fans would give to them, and even more so, they and the creators wouldn't like it when their expected fans are not buying their products.
Yeah, I guess the question is, which blob of money is bigger if there are micropayments - the losses from people not buying the conventional product versus the gains from people making micropayment contributions. Hard to say. Those that really want quality physical media will continue to buy it. Those that only buy media to show their support probably wouldn't.

My unscientific unfounded opinion: the pirates aren't going away any time soon, and divising a way to tap into their bank accounts would be a wise move. The more convenient such a system is, the better it would work - probably the best would be to have it build right into a media player so the user can hit "like$" in the moment, whenever they feel like something is kickass.

At any rate, we're not there yet as far as the payment channels being available - at least as far as I know. Maybe in the future micropayment links will become as normal as weblinks. Until they are this discussion is academic as far as animesuki is concerned.
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Old 2012-02-07, 22:04   Link #32
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It is an incredibly attractive idea, but not feasible in the way you wish it to be, as was already demonstrated by the other members here. Still, I wish the anime industry made it easier for people who have small budgets to give their own contribution. I'm sure that there are many, *many* anime fans out there who want to contribute or so to the Japanese companies producing the anime they like but can't afford to buy $80 two-episode BD sets. Devising a way for these people around the globe to contribute $5 or so through the internet might prove to be an effective strategy.

But alas, I'm not a businessman, so I can't know for sure.
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Old 2012-02-08, 05:40   Link #33
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^Are you going to give $5 to each animation studio? Because if you were, it would add up to BD costs. And if not, then you could just subscribe to CR. Does it matter really if you watch the anime they stream or not? You're still paying to the industry. I was subscribed to CR for quite a while until I cancelled it, and I never even used their website. I did watch a lot of series (from torrents) they streamed though but I didn't choose to pay to CR because of those series - CR just happened to pick them up.

So if you want to help a little, but can't afford much ; Subscribe to CR. Or buy merchandise. Merchandise gives money to the industry, and you gain something too.. The merchandise.
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