Madman. State of the Anime Industry Q&A
After asking the Madman Staff at AVcon some important questions about K-on! (which you can read here http://m0e.me/1ip) I got to ask them about everything else from How they licence products to what they are going to release soon and even some future unforseen plans. Here are the questions and answers ofcourse that were given.
What Exactly is the Process Behind Licencing Anime?
We First look at the product from a business stand point and decide if aquiring the title will be profitable for the company. A member of the company will then either go to Japan or the Us depending on who we are aquiring the licence from and try to strike a reasonable deal with them. Some US companies aquire licences to sell certain titles across all regions (worldwide), this is why some licences are taken from American companies. On the other hand, some titles are not licenced worldwide. This is when we go directly to Japan.
We have to pay the licencor a certain amount of money that they decide upon. The prices vary from company to company and from title to title. Shows that the licence holder expects will sell well are usually very expensive and ones that they expect will not sell well are cheaper. After aquiring the Licence to a title we then release it in a format that we assume will retain a profit.
Are We Slowly Shifting Towards Blu Ray Releases Only?
Blu Ray is yet to catch on with Australian anime fans, we have found that most fans don’t really care that blu ray has a higher resolution. Releasing Titles on Blu Ray is also much more expensive than doing so on DVD’s so only a select few titles that we believe have the sufficient selling power will be released on Blu Ray.
Also because of the expense of producing Blu Rays, we dont have any plans to release anime in DVD/BD packs, we found that consumers dont quite understand yet why they are recieveing two copies of the same product and because the price of combo packs is higher than a single (format) release they shun the combo packs altogether.
At the moment I would not exactly say Blu ray is being as successful as we hoped it would be, but it is successful enough that we will continue to release titles worthy of that format in Blu Ray.
Have You Considered Mainstream Marketing Like Television?
We currently have a handful of shows on TV and we always pitch most of our shows to the television stations. We have had a few instances when the stations have come to us for programming. Vampire Knight is doing very well on ABC3 and we noticed a slight peak in sales afterwards as well. We have been somewhat succeful with the new local digital channels. We have an anime block on those channels that air Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Gurren Lagann so we are not doing so bad as far as Tv is concerned.
Streming Anime, How is that Going?
Our First Simulcast was FMA:Brotherhood, We had to do most of the subs so it was quite difficult but gave us a lot of experience. It was succesful enough for us to later simulcast Samurai Girls and more recently High School of the Dead which will be released on DVD soon. Simulcasting shows is a bit of a risk sometimes because we have no idea where the show is going to head or how succesful it is going to be.
We aslo have preview episodes on our website for most of the new titles. That has been doing quite well for us so we will continue to do that.
We also have Anime on iTunes so fans that prefer to digitally download thier anime can do that for very favourable prices.
New Licences and Release Dates
We announced Bubblegum Crisis 2040 today to keep with the theme of this years AVcon (retro). Old School fans can look forward to that.
(Kidd: you guys licenced some titles before FUNimation, howcome? Would you consider dubbing them yourselves)
We licenced those shows (Steins;Gate, Nichijou, Gosick) because we had faith that they could sell well. Had they not been picked up or dubbed we still would have released them as sub only titles. We might stream some of them on our website in the near future so look forward to that.
Dubbing a single episode costs an aproximate of $10,000. You have to pay the actors, find a suitable studio, equipmet etc. Its just too expensive to consider at the moment.
Reel Anime and Anime in the Theatres
We will not be able to have Reel Anime this year because the number of theatrical releases and time at which they were released was not favourable for us. We also try to pick movies that have mass appeal so that we can even target arthouse fans and possibly get some new anime fans. It is possible that we could have a Reel Anime next year, it all depends on what titles are released and when.
We are planning to have a special 1 day only screening of the brand new Full Metal Alchemist Movie The Sacred Star of Milos in August. We are working really hard to get that title so we hope the fans can make it a success.
(Kidd: If the fans started a petition to have a screening of say Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya for 1 day in the cinemas, would you guys back that?)
The biggest hurdle we have with putting anime in Cinemas is guaranteeing them that having anime on that time slot instead of any other movie will make the cinema a profit. So if fans gathered together and showed the cinema that they are willing to go to the screening and pack them out im sure there wouldn’t be any problems.
On the topic of Reel Anime, we will be releasing Redline and King of Thorn early next year on DVD and possibly Blu Ray.
Ever Considered A Best Sellers Monthly Top 10?
We have had various “Top of” lists on our website before, so that is not out of the question. We might look into it.
Do You Consider Fan Feedback, Like With Aqusistions?
We are always considering what the fans are telling us. Be it licence suggestions or feedback on our current products. We have many avenues that the fans can use to contact us; Twitter, Facebook, Our Website and even our Email. We also have a podcast that we can use to answer any questions that fans have for us.
Have You Ever Considered A Manga App?
At the moment we dont have any plans for a manga app, but we will look into it.
How Is The Company Doing Financially?
We have been in business for more than 15 years now and are still going, we are doing just fine.
(Kidd: thanks for your time and answering all my questions)
So there we have it a special thanks to Sly and all the Madman Staff that indulged me no matter how busy they got (and they got pretty busy) Here is a link to thier website http://www.madman.com.au/channel/view/1/anime News, Videos and many more are updated frequently.