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Post Reply Puella Magi Madoka Magica Comes to Crunchyroll
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Posted 2/16/12

youwannaroll wrote: i like that idea. very clever. $7 or whatever, to get premium access for a series you -can- watch, plus it shows you support series X, and you're from region Y.

mind you, A; i'm from canada, so i do get to watch pretty much everything anyways.
and B; i think the whole idea of region-limiting for a service like CR is just stupid and dinosaur-ish.
i know it's out of CR's hands... i just wish that the companies in charge would pull their heads out of their butts.

When its region limiting because someone else outbid Crunchyroll for the rights, hey, I can live with that. More money for the voice actors and actresses, artists, and craftsmen who make the anime.

But when its region limiting because you just artificially sliced the world up and neither you nor Crunchyroll can afford the contract cost to add a country ... yes, that's dinosaur behavior. Just slice simulcast streaming rights exclusive for the first week and nonexclusive through the season following the end of the run and given it to one party who will agree to license it all out. If Crunchyroll bids for a region and nobody else does, just give it to Crunchyroll. That way there is not "dead zones".

Then Crunchyroll's blocks would all be competition for the anime, instead of just "dead zones".

But whatever, it is what it is. The idea of a "series sampler" subscription would be to attract subscriptions from regions who only have a handful of series, and then based on those subscriptions Crunchyroll can offer more for rights to those regions, and then if Crunchyroll can get more series, some people will have more than a couple of series they want and upgrade to a full anime membership.

For simplicity, its just pegged to the price of a one month anime membership just on personal experience ~ if I have three to six series I'm watching in a month, I'm fine with the price. 3 to 6 x 1 month = 1 or 2 x 3 months. That's it. Just a gut feeling that the one month price for a three month, one or two series "series sampler" would make it roughly equal.
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yea, i understand wha you're saying.. i just wish it could actually work that way.
again, CR doesn't have the right to sub-license things, as i understand it.
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Posted 2/16/12

youwannaroll wrote: yea, i understand wha you're saying.. i just wish it could actually work that way.
again, CR doesn't have the right to sub-license things, as i understand it.

Crunchyroll sublicenses things all the time ~ they are sublicensing Puella Magi Madoka Magica from AniplexUSA, after all.

The problem is money.

Imagine there is a small pile of money to add a low revenue region ~ say, Africa outside of South Africa. That small pile of money is not a "gift" ~ its potential demand from the region.

Now, suppose it can be added to an existing contract, because the licensor has a licensing region that includes both North American and Africa. The numbers can work out: Crunchyroll boosts the Minimum Guarantee a small number, the licensor gets a little bit more guaranteed, and possibly more in residual royalties down the track. It doesn't add to Crunchyroll's set up, video mastering, or subtitling costs. And the subscribers cover the cost of the bandwidth.

Switch, and suppose its a second licensor that has African streaming rights to sell. That's a second contract. Crunchyroll has contract costs. The second licensor has contract costs. That same small pot of money no longer covers all the costs, so the deal cannot be made.

Its an entirely artificial problem from South America, Africa and the Middle East: there are reason to worry about broadcasters in any of those regions that would complain if the series happened to be simulcast on Crunchyroll. So if the simulcast streaming rights were carved out as a separated thing and lumped in with North America, then the contract cost problem would go away. But they'd have to do it as an across the board policy up front: if it has to be negotiated ... well, that's another style of contracting costs.

The idea of the "sampler subscription" is to increase subscriber royalty payments that Crunchyroll can hope to attract in the underserved regions under the current limited number of anime, and so increase the incentive to production committees to reorganize the way they do things so they can be the ones to collect that money. Its trying to increase the leverage of the handful of anime that is widely available to try to convince production committees to organize things so Crunchyroll can get broader rights while keeping contract costs under control.
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Posted 2/16/12

agila61 wrote:


youwannaroll wrote: yea, i understand wha you're saying.. i just wish it could actually work that way.
again, CR doesn't have the right to sub-license things, as i understand it.

Crunchyroll sublicenses things all the time ~ they are sublicensing Puella Magi Madoka Magica from AniplexUSA, after all.


i think you misread when i said "sublicense"

you want to fix your house up.. you hire a contractor... he hires sub-contractors to work under him.
in the case of say PMMM, "you" would be ...uhm, the original japanese company. the contractor would be aniplex. the sub-contractor would be CR. but CR doesn't have the rights to hire people under it to distribute in other areas.
in other words, CR can't give out sublicenses.


anyways, as for the rest, yea i understand why companies don't add regions they think won't make a lot of money.
my point is, tho... why the hell did they chop the world up into regions in the first place?
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Posted 2/16/12
Oh! I thought this show was already on this site! haha
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Posted 2/16/12
YES! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!
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Posted 2/16/12 , edited 2/16/12

youwannaroll wrote: i think you misread when i said "sublicense"

you want to fix your house up.. you hire a contractor... he hires sub-contractors to work under him.

Yes, Crunchyroll is a licensee ~ sometimes they are the contractor and do the work themselves, sometimes someone else is the contractor and is the sublicensor, and Crunchyroll is the sublicensee. The distributor is always a licensee unless they are the original rights holder.


in the case of say PMMM, "you" would be ...uhm, the original japanese company. the contractor would be aniplex. the sub-contractor would be CR. but CR doesn't have the rights to hire people under it to distribute in other areas.

in other words, CR can't give out sublicenses.

I think you've heard the contract rights splitting problem described in different words, and have gotten "licensor" and "licensee" turned around.

The "sublicensing problem" is real, but it is not that CR "is not allowed to sublicense rights out" ... the problem is that Crunchyroll cannot afford to contract to receive two or more sublicenses to cover multiple regions. Subscription and ad revenue just is not enough to cover the duplicated contracting costs.

So when Crunchyroll sublicenses from a North American rights holder, those have always been stuck with just North America.

The good news is that Crunchyroll has somehow figured out a trick to partially overcome this. This last season, they have several series licensed by Sentai/Section23 and one by NIS America that extend to many oor all of Australia and New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, and South Africa. I think one of them includes South America.

Either they worked sat down with some R1 licensors and worked out contract terms that do not conflict, which allows the original licensor to negotiate the physical license, and then if that agreement is reached they can just turn around and offer a streaming-only license to Crunchyroll, or else they worked out a way to make an offer up-front to the R1 distributors for streaming rights so that the R1 distributors go ahead and pick up streaming rights in the other countries, and then turns around and sublicenses it to Crunchyroll. Depends on whether the original licensor in Japan is more interested in maintaining control or saving contract costs themselves.

Either way, Crunchyroll only signs one contract, so the double contracts problem does not show up.

But of course PMMM rights were originally granted long before that breakthrough happened this last season.
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Posted 2/16/12
Why not available in Australia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 2/16/12

youwannaroll wrote:
my point is, tho... why the hell did they chop the world up into regions in the first place?

That dates back to the days when physical distribution was the only way to go.

If for example, a new Hollywood movie was coming out, they couldn't afford to make prints for theatres around the world, not to mention the localizations (subtitles or redubbing) required for some areas, so the movie would be released by region. Television had an even better excuse, as networks were almost always restricted to a specific nation. They typically funded, or at least contracted for television series, and so once again, release to any other country would be delayed, as that network would initially have an exclusive on the series.

With DVDs, and more recently BDs, regional restrictions allow companies to tune the pricing of the media to maximize profit for that country. The fact that Japan and the U.S. are in the same BD region (unlike with DVDs) is why you'll see things like Funimation's cancellation of the BD of Heaven's Lost Property: Forte because the studio in Japan was fearful of the impact of reverse importation of the less expensive U.S. version.

As another example of this, I was checking the pricing on the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, and found a company I had seen the Japanese discs at before (for about $75 each) now also has the (apparently legit) Taiwan DVDs, but for $18-$25. As they still have the Japanese audio, they would be very tempting for anyone in Japan, except that they are DVD Region 3, and Japan is DVD Region 2. If not for this carving up of the world into region's, you simply couldn't get away with this sort of pricing difference, especially given the geographic proximity.

Basically, all this resulted in this establishment of a regional system that made sense to varying degrees for physical media, but doesn't mesh very well with how the internet works.

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Posted 2/16/12

TheAncientOne wrote:


youwannaroll wrote:
my point is, tho... why the hell did they chop the world up into regions in the first place?

That dates back to the days when physical distribution was the only way to go.

If for example, a new Hollywood movie was coming out, they couldn't afford to make prints for theatres around the world, not to mention the localizations (subtitles or redubbing) required for some areas, so the movie would be released by region. Television had an even better excuse, as networks were almost always restricted to a specific nation. They typically funded, or at least contracted for television series, and so once again, release to any other country would be delayed, as that network would initially have an exclusive on the series.

With DVDs, and more recently BDs, regional restrictions allow companies to tune the pricing of the media to maximize profit for that country. The fact that Japan and the U.S. are in the same BD region (unlike with DVDs) is why you'll see things like Funimation's cancellation of the BD of Heaven's Lost Property: Forte because the studio in Japan was fearful of the impact of reverse importation of the less expensive U.S. version.

As another example of this, I was checking the pricing on the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, and found a company I had seen the Japanese discs at before (for about $75 each) now also has the (apparently legit) Taiwan DVDs, but for $18-$25. As they still have the Japanese audio, they would be very tempting for anyone in Japan, except that they are DVD Region 3, and Japan is DVD Region 2. If not for this carving up of the world into region's, you simply couldn't get away with this sort of pricing difference, especially given the geographic proximity.

Basically, all this resulted in this establishment of a regional system that made sense to varying degrees for physical media, but doesn't mesh very well with how the internet works.


eh, just buy $100 taiwan dvd player
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Posted 2/17/12



No we're still spoiled. We have unrealistic expectations on pricing for a franchise that's not made in whichever country we currently reside in. It's made in Japan and we're not even getting charged half of what Japanese people pay to own a series that's made in their own country. Anime is not a right, it's not something that HAS to be given to us for purchase. It is in fact an expensive hobby, and any anime fan who comes into the culture should be prepared to have to pay to get what they want.

Let's not forget that these companies are a business they are in it to make money. Sure some happen to be run by fans, but at the end of the day Aniplex still needs to bring in an acceptable amount of money to warrant the expenses that they incurred bringing this show out for purchase. Now you wanting a series at a lesser price also does not help an industry that is still considered niche. Anime does not have a mainstream buying market, even if companies brought the prices down the industry would just die because of the fact that they are undercutting themselves. Marketing to us cost money, packing cost money, producing the series cost money, translations money, dubbing money, voice actors money. They have to be able to make up these costs somewhere and how do you expect them to do this by selling it to us at an even lower price then what's being sold now?




You got that one part right in that it is not a "right". But most rational minds here would agree that "rights" have nothing to do with this or any other hobby or interest. The problem here is in that statement you made that anime "is in fact an expensive hobby", and your presumption that "any anime fan who comes into the culture should be prepared to have to pay to get what they want." I believe it's that attitude that the previous poster was pointing out was the reason the industry should not be surprised "why anime has trouble catching on and making sales here."

Yes these companies are in a business to make money, but all those business expenses you mentioned are just normal costs that are to be expected as in ANY industry, and just as in any other industry it is up to the businesses involved to take those costs into account when pricing their product and allocating budgets. In a free market economy, it's the MARKET that sets the price. Not me, not you, not Shinji, Not the distributors or licensors or the studios in Japan. The market doesn't care what an individual company's expenses are or if it's particular segment is a niche market. If you price yourself out of the market you are destined to follow the same fate as Homer Simpson in that episode where Bart got that pet elephant and he came up with a new pricing scheme to try and afford to keep it. This is true no matter what industry you're in, be it agriculture, energy, automotive, textiles, electronics..... you name it.

Crunchy just got the rights to this show recently, but before this week and still to this day many countries don't have access to shows like this, and even when they do they are priced out of the reach of many, so the fans are NOT spoiled. I just bought the first four eps of this show, but only because it was available as a Crunchyroll "Deal of the Day" at a discount, plus I had a discount coupon I could apply to it, coupled with the fact that when I saw the deal I had just come from my doctors appointment and the damage when I got the bill wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be, so I had a couple extra bucks available. Now if the studios and distributors are OK with sales only going to the most hardcore or those of us with significant disposable income, then fine. But if they expect the market to grow and sales figures to significantly increase, it's clear what they have to do.
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Posted 2/17/12
Cool saw the 1st episode and it looked interesting. CR you rarely disappoint.
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LIKE!!!!!!! WOOT
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Posted 2/17/12 , edited 2/17/12
Every time I look for PMMM to come up in my Queue on my Android app on my Nook, I don't see it. Has the device encoding been finished yet?


youwannaroll wrote: eh, just buy $100 taiwan dvd player

The fact that some people pay extra for multi-region players does not change much, since most people in the high income countries have players encoded to their market. Its only in fringe markets that multi-region players are a big feature, and since they are fringe markets, they are not given priority when these standards are set.


KaiserSosei wrote: Now if the studios and distributors are OK with sales only going to the most hardcore or those of us with significant disposable income, then fine. But if they expect the market to grow and sales figures to significantly increase, it's clear what they have to do.

In Japan, the purchase of physical media for much anime that is produced has long been mostly for the hard core collectors, since before the DVD back in VHS tape days, with income from the regular viewers coming from sales to rental outfits, merchandise sales, and (back before the TV ratings collapsed) advertising income.

North America has had the lowest DVD price points in the developed world, and Japan some of the highest, so there has long been this clash of cultures.

So are subsidiaries of Japanese firms like Aniplex USA comfortable with physical media collecting being only for the hardcore and the rest of us watching via streaming or from a specialist anime-rent-by-mail outfit ... sure, sure they are.

Now, AniplexUSA set the MSRP for half-season DVD's at $37.48 with a real RightStuf price (they link straight through to RightStuf as the order link from their own website) at $30. So that's $60/broadcast-season, which is right in line with normal mainstream series first release price points. Now, sure, that means that they are not going to get a lot of "blind buy", "hey, this looks interesting, lets try it out" sales, but then again its streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Crackle and Anime News Network, so they aren't going for those sales, they are going for "I love this series I have got to own a copy!" sales.

PMM, they are selling the DVDs for $30 for a single, so $90 for a single broadcast season.

For Blue Exorcist, they think: $60 times the extra sales at $60 is worth more than $30 (the $90 price premium) times the sales at $90.

For PMMM, they think: $60 times the extra sales at $60 is worth less than $30 (the $90 price premium) times the sales at $90.

Both of those seem kind of reasonable to me. PMMM will have a lot of people who absolutely have to have it if they can scrape together the money, and a lot of people who "love it" but who would say at $60 per season, "it should be a $40 box set", and at $40, "why isn't is $20 for the complete season?". I expect Blue Exorcist actually will have a number of people saying, "well, if its $60 for this or $60 for that FUNimation season release, I'll get the Blue Exorcist this month".

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shinji 
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Posted 2/17/12 , edited 2/17/12

agila61 wrote:

Every time I look for PMMM to come up in my Queue on my Android app on my Nook, I don't see it. Has the device encoding been finished yet?



Sorry about that. It was made available a day late due to human error but it should be available as of yesterday around 3:30pm Pacific Time.
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