An article explaining the high-relative-to-other-US-boxes cost of anime DVDs. A couple of really interesting figures in here (via Forbes and Geneon VP Nobu Yamamoto):
-ADV paid between $1 million and $2.6 million for each anime TV series, and $0.5 million to $5 million for each anime movie. (Forbes) I believe that’s production, including licensing, but it’s not entirely clear.
-Licensing for a popular anime title could reach $50,000/episode. (Yamamoto) That’s a far cry above the max of ~$33,000/episode paid for Pumpkin Scissors and Air Gear (the most expensive shows on this 2006-2007 ADV list). Licensor collaboration may have proven effective.
-For the same popular anime as above dubbing ran $12k/ep, authoring/materials/quality control ran $10k/DVD release, marketing ran $15k/box set release. Manufacturing and royalties cost an additional $15/box set.
-Wholesale retailers typically got 50% discounts on more popular series.
-The cost of licences grew almost a factor of 10 faster than the size of the market since 2000. (Yamamoto) Presumably some of this was just Japanese companies getting their fair cut of things as prices adjusted to more properly value the market, and some was overvaluing just how strong the market was.