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View Full Version : Is Geneon the Beginning of the End?


nhat
2007-09-29, 21:03
http://animenation.net/news/askjohn.php?id=1648

Interesting view of Geneon's US distribution section demise and the outlook of other distributors.

Kyuusai
2007-09-29, 21:50
I'd call the end of Geneon the End of the Beginning. As I've said in other threads, the shake-up of the American anime industry is what it's going to take to change the way business is done.

I think John is absolutely wrong in laying responsibility "at the feet of consumers". Right now, the US anime market is not adapting to meet the demands of a changing market. Even if some were willing, the Japanese copyright holders stand in the way.

Some blame can be placed on those who would buy product but choose to pirate instead, but how do those numbers compare to those who would buy products if they were better catered to?

Before I had the ability to download my entertainment, I wasn't buying. It's not my fault they're continuing to only sell things I won't buy.

TheMP3000
2007-09-29, 22:13
Impossible.

- Sojitz Corporation and milking Gainax will keep ADV Films alive.
- Navarre will keep its biggest profit-maker, FUNimation - while they milk FMA, DBZ and the like.
- Media Blasters has live-action films to fall back on, but their subbed anime releases as of late "have sold well" to my knowledge.
- Bandai Entertainment USA has Gundam, Geass and other series to support them.
- Manga Entertainment has its parent company behind it full-heartedly, Starz Entertainment.
- Viz Media caters to the mainstream, they aren't going anywhere soon. Death Note, Naruto, Bleach.

Those 6 companies are as safe as can be. The market is by far still stable and safe.

The market does take a blow with Geneon's departure, but that's only 11% of the total market share.

Kyuusai
2007-09-29, 22:37
Those 6 companies are as safe as can be. The market is by far still stable and safe.

The market does take a blow with Geneon's departure, but that's only 11% of the total market share.

None of those companies are that stable or safe, actually. All of them (possibly aside from FUNimation with its larger hits) operate on razor thin margins.

They're all profitable, of course. Just as Geneon, though, they aren't that profitable. The loss of Genon won't shake up the current importer market, but it's the first casualty marking the trend that will eventually shake up the Japanese copyright holders.

Slice of Life
2007-09-30, 15:31
All of them (possibly aside from FUNimation with its larger hits) operate on razor thin margins.

That's how markets ideally work. If your margins are high it means that either your competitors are asleep or you don't have any.

Js2756
2007-09-30, 15:34
That's how markets ideally work. If your margins are high it means that either your competitors are asleep or you don't have any.

Or that you and your "competitors" are in cahoots (ie. Oligopolies).

Kyuusai
2007-09-30, 19:13
That's how markets ideally work. If your margins are high it means that either your competitors are asleep or you don't have any.

That's very true, but if they're too low then business can't expand and is always on the verge of collapse.

There's a happy medium! :D

cyth
2007-09-30, 19:32
As I've said in other threads, the shake-up of the American anime industry is what it's going to take to change the way business is done.

I think John is absolutely wrong in laying responsibility "at the feet of consumers". Right now, the US anime market is not adapting to meet the demands of a changing market. Even if some were willing, the Japanese copyright holders stand in the way.

Before I had the ability to download my entertainment, I wasn't buying. It's not my fault they're continuing to only sell things I won't buy.In my opinion, John expressed at least one valid observation--the market will continue to shrink, just not as fast as Geneon closing down. Even Viz and Funimation can't sit on their Naruto and DBZ forever. Soon they will need to bring in new mainstream titles, and quite frankly I don't see any on the horizon. Perhaps One Piece is making a comeback? :heh:

America is in love with its shounen titles; the apparent accumulation of said titles due to the proliferation of the Internet in the late 90s and a bigger-than-today production of such titles pushed the American anime industry to its peak in 2003. Maybe current anime titles simply don't appeal to many Americans? Mainstream fandom is growing; we can see that from conventions' visitation numbers, for example. What about niché titles? Who's going to support those? How will their market adapt (ADV, Media Blasters etc.) to survive? Will they find new ways of milking fans? I don't think so. Will they ask Google for advertising revenues? Those probably won't be enough to sustain them.
I believe the only company that's taking the right steps to adapt to the current market is Bandai Visual (Geneon was getting there... Who would've known Dentsu had such losses coming up). They cut down production costs by making subtitle-only releases, they've started releasing HD media, putting less episodes on DVDs and raising their final price tag. What this means is that they're trying to approach the market the Japanese way--appealing to hardcore crowds that won't mind paying extra for quality releases. I consider myself a hardcore fan, since I spend pretty much 95% of my non-essentials' budget for my hobby, but when buying R1 DVD releases I seldom worry about their price because most of them are insanely cheap. You have to wonder how they generate any profit like that at all. :confused:

I have to applaud them for the fine business they've been doing this past half-a-decade, but it's time for change since the casual, non-mainstream market is shrinking. They need to negotiate lower licencing costs based on the current size of the market, lower production costs where they can, and raise their products' prices. That's when only conscious, hardcore consumers will remain and be largely responsible for the well-being of their market, just like the pioneer fans in the 70s and 80s were.
John has stated in one of his older articles that he doesn't see the American anime industry disappearing since the demand for anime, no matter how small it might get, will always exist to some extent.

Wishful Thinking Corner:
1.) Now, if only BV brought in titles I'd actually be interested in... :heh:
2.) I hope the American anime distributors face the fans one day with their sales numbers.

Risaa
2007-09-30, 20:28
I consider myself a hardcore fan, since I spend pretty much 95% of my non-essentials' budget for my hobby, but when buying R1 DVD releases I seldom worry about their price because most of them are insanely cheap.
Just wanted to say that I think it depends who you ask - to me, $25 per disk is expensive. $100+tax for four disks, four episodes per disk? And for some series, that may not even be half of the length of the series?? I can't afford that!! :heh: A $20 disk will make me hesitate, but if I like the series enough, I will buy it. At $10 or $15, I'll probably buy the disk even if I don't care for the series so much. I'm aware it's cheaper than R2 releases, but I think R2 prices are just insane!

I should also add that it's a bit risky to raise the cost too much more in R1 -- regular movies and TV shows are released on DVD for about the same cost. Raise the cost of anime titles and people will feel they're expensive, regardless of quality. (I'm talking about the average newbie anime viewer, not hardcore fans.) $30 is probably quite all right, as some regular movies and TV shows are sold for that much. Above that, I wouldn't be too optimistic on sales.

Vexx
2007-09-30, 20:35
Micro-distribution is one possibility (producing DVD sets just-as-needed). This has been discussed for a variety of medium (books, CDs, movies) but it requires that distributors
1) keep a complete selection in their database
2) automate the production
3) understand that the obsolete "Big Release" phenomen is just a dead pony and that micro-sales are a more sustainable model.