Via Anime Insider: License Costs and DVD Sales (April 2005)

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.

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Via Anime Insider: US Industry Collaboration (February 2005)

This article describes an attempt of which I was not aware of by Funimation, ADV, and Geneon to cooperate and drive the price of licenses down. It likely worked (more on that in just a moment), despite the fact that one of the three closed down and another declared bankruptcy.

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Fun With Numbers: Guesstimating the Break Even Point of English Dubs

If you’re familiar with the Japanese anime sales figures I sometimes look at, you may be aware of something called the break-even point, a rule-of-thumb figure that sets a general line between profit and loss for a given show at 3000 disks sold per volume. (The math is fairly elementary. At 10 million yen per episode, 12 episodes cost ~120 million yen. Selling 3000 copies of 6 disks at 7000 yen per disk nets a gross profit of 126 million yen. While that number varies depending on things like show budget, alternative income sources, and how many episodes are packed into a volume, it’s good to have a rough number in mind because it sets a scale for what constitutes success and failure for a show. But what does that number look like for the U.S., and what does that say about the comparative purchasing power of western fans in general?

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Fun With Numbers: License to Spend

Ever wonder how much it costs to license anime? Well, thanks to this article on ADV’s bankruptcy proceedings, we now have some idea of what the costs are.

A more interesting question is this: where do those costs come from? Is there some factor that predicts how much companies are willing to shell out?

Using this page to compare with per-volume Japanese sales (22 of the 29 titles are listed there), we can get some idea of whether American and Japanese anime markets actually overlap.

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