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|Unedited Feed from the State of the Industry panel at Anime Boston 2011. Transcription: bayoab
Note: ( ) is usually commenting on the panel and was not said.
12:50:51 <bay|AB|SoTI> (Will be leaving early for a room clear)
13:04:16 <bay|AB|SoTI> (Figures, state of the industry panel, and only adam and rojas from Funimation are on stage)
13:05:23 <bay|AB|SoTI> (Holy hell this room is small)
13:06:49 <bay|AB|SoTI> We're going to give it a few minutes because there is supposed to be a host...and other industry...
13:09:31 <bay|AB|SoTI> (Gia goes up to "moderate")
13:09:39 <bay|AB|SoTI> Gia Manry, Associate Editor at ANN
13:09:47 <bay|AB|SoTI> Justin Rojas... Social Media Manager at Funimation
13:10:06 <bay|AB|SoTI> Adam Sheehan... Marketing Manager
13:10:16 <bay|AB|SoTI> Should we start with their questions or mine?
13:10:18 <bay|AB|SoTI> Question...
13:11:33 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q; How do you think things like Netflix and Hulu plus are effecting the industry since you can stream on PSN or XBOX or the wii
13:11:43 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: we're very for it, we have a lot of shows on both of those
13:11:49 <bay|AB|SoTI> all of those wonderful places,.... do very well for us
13:12:03 <bay|AB|SoTI> i kjnow the inital thought is "you arep utting it for free, doesn't that hurt your dvd"
13:12:12 <bay|AB|SoTI> we did many tests and the answer is it really doesn't
13:12:30 <bay|AB|SoTI> and we're finding a lot of people who watch a lot of series.. and then will find other series that they will enjoy and find something they want to buy
13:12:40 <bay|AB|SoTI> R; It's an alternative to the broadcast venue
13:12:47 <bay|AB|SoTI> we're very close to the digital vendors
13:13:04 <bay|AB|SoTI> netfflix, ms, sony, we built these relationships with them, so this is like the broadcast networks, it's that same kind of exposure
13:13:12 <bay|AB|SoTI> and anime reaches people who maybe wouldn't have seen it otherwsie
13:13:17 <bay|AB|SoTI> so that helps business on the whole
13:13:28 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: So it's win win, for hulu... since they can go "we have this and this and this"
13:13:33 <bay|AB|SoTI> so they actually want to promote us
13:13:44 <bay|AB|SoTI> And They come up to us and ask if they can promote on the front page
13:13:49 <bay|AB|SoTI> so it helps the industry as a whole
13:14:01 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: One piece is featured next to 30 rock, where else can we get that exposure
13:14:06 <bay|AB|SoTI> I hope that answers that..
13:14:46 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: I'm not sure if funimatinon is through hulu plus for portable devices... but can new sites make it so that anime is on a mobile platform... or is that licensing rights as well
13:14:52 <bay|AB|SoTI> i'm hoping ther can be more video efforts than hulu
13:14:57 <bay|AB|SoTI> that's kinda strangeholding what video can do
13:15:11 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: That's true that you don't want to pin yourself in one area, we have apps on the mind...
13:15:28 <bay|AB|SoTI> look for mobile ideas from funimation.... we're trying to be smart about it... we look at data, research, double check stuff
13:15:40 <bay|AB|SoTI> so a moblie device option will likely happen in the closer than further future
13:16:08 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: What are you thoughts on Japanese media companies setting up their own things
13:16:23 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: That one is interesting... one of the benefits to a company in japan using us is we have distribution
13:16:32 <bay|AB|SoTI> There are companies like aniplex doing it themselves, and we're not against that
13:16:37 <bay|AB|SoTI> we awant the industry as a whole to grow
13:16:47 <bay|AB|SoTI> people say you have this monopoly but that's not a good thing
13:16:51 <bay|AB|SoTI> we want the industry as a whole to grow
13:16:57 <bay|AB|SoTI> yes, there are some titles we may miss out on
13:17:03 <bay|AB|SoTI> but if it's good for the industry, it's good for us
13:17:08 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: If it's a good show, i can't blame them
13:17:17 <bay|AB|SoTI> having more people in the industry is good thing overall
13:17:20 <bay|AB|SoTI> we always talk about geneon...
13:17:35 <bay|AB|SoTI> to see people jumping in like Aniplex or NIS shows a great growth or promise
13:17:43 <bay|AB|SoTI> (lost)
13:17:54 <bay|AB|SoTI> we still feel this direct route works best for North america
13:18:00 <bay|AB|SoTI> but having anyone come in like aniplex bandai, that's a good thing
13:18:16 <bay|AB|SoTI> G: I thought of a question, can you tell us about the history of funimation's website.
13:19:00 <bay|AB|SoTI> A; i found out that even before my time, there actually was a site before funimation.com, i think it was called funimationfans, and it was a social media site..and it had a profile...
13:19:06 <bay|AB|SoTI> it was made as a network between fans to talk
13:19:14 <bay|AB|SoTI> that went away and we did fun dot com
13:19:21 <bay|AB|SoTI> and then navarre created animeonline.com
13:19:28 <bay|AB|SoTI> navarre wanted to have an anime site..
13:19:39 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: And navarre was our parent company.. they are a software distribution company
13:19:48 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: It was good to have them, and we learned a lot and they still do distro
13:20:03 <bay|AB|SoTI> And we did animeonline and they wanted funi to run the thing from their offfices, but they wanted it to be available to other companies
13:20:10 <bay|AB|SoTI> it was right at that time when myspace was oscial media
13:20:19 <bay|AB|SoTI> and nobody knew what they were doing... some stuff worked and some stuff didn't
13:20:35 <bay|AB|SoTI> maybe if we had waited a year.. we stopped using it less than a year after and went back to updating funimation.com
13:20:42 <bay|AB|SoTI> and then the social media craze kicked in
13:20:50 <bay|AB|SoTI> so it was updated to be more social media friendly
13:21:00 <bay|AB|SoTI> so now they have beta.funimation.com which is the next phase on that
13:21:08 <bay|AB|SoTI> i'm still trying to get more history on that
13:22:34 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: with aniplex opening a north american division in the US and with online, getting revnue through ads.. do you feel that the anime industry is starting to make a turn around
13:22:41 <bay|AB|SoTI> R; well, we can't speak for other companies
13:22:45 <bay|AB|SoTI> us personally, we're doing well
13:22:59 <bay|AB|SoTI> i think a lot of it has to do with being able to adapt and change to the ever changing landscape that is the anime indstury
13:23:08 <bay|AB|SoTI> with aniplex and nis doing these things, the more people being able to stream anime online legally
13:23:13 <bay|AB|SoTI> it will help creatre more exposure for anime
13:23:21 <bay|AB|SoTI> the thing is that anime cons contiuously grow
13:23:33 <bay|AB|SoTI> which means that ... more business theoretically
13:23:48 <bay|AB|SoTI> as long as we can provide the anime in a reasonably convienit manner to the new and the old fans, it's a good thing
13:23:55 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: I know people ask where the bottom of hte industry is
13:23:59 <bay|AB|SoTI> I think we hit the bottom last year
13:24:09 <bay|AB|SoTI> the signs of that is new companies and japan making more shows and noitamina shows
13:24:19 <bay|AB|SoTI> for them to make stuff, it has to be safe stuff, and now there is a variety
13:24:25 <bay|AB|SoTI> and now you see people adapting to change
13:24:33 <bay|AB|SoTI> and now packaging... and stuff is changing
13:24:46 <bay|AB|SoTI> and adpating with it and knowing when to jump and when not to
13:25:06 <bay|AB|SoTI> and then there is a plans ABCD Q and F..... and so we jumped into blu-ray pretty hard ...
13:25:14 <bay|AB|SoTI> our bluray sales at conventions have skyrocketed
13:25:22 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: This isn't just the anime industry, this is in general
13:25:35 <bay|AB|SoTI> we still have to follow trends of the entertainment genre.. what affects everybody affects us
13:25:43 <bay|AB|SoTI> that's why we want more people to be into anime so we have more influence
13:26:04 <bay|AB|SoTI> it's basically us vs disney when you put it like that.. we love all their stuff, we're big fans... but we're competing not only with the anime industries but entertainment
13:26:05 <bay|AB|SoTI> even video games
13:26:14 <bay|AB|SoTI> when entertainment as a whole starts having a good upturn, that's good for us
13:26:20 <bay|AB|SoTI> G: I feel like we're in the middle of the left turn
13:26:31 <bay|AB|SoTI> everything is getting worked out but we can see it's going to happen
13:26:38 <bay|AB|SoTI> i feel anime needs another big hit..
13:26:41 <bay|AB|SoTI> things are winding down
13:27:07 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: (lost) Signs are Summer wars and eva... and the theatricall...and that was backed up by sales
13:27:21 <bay|AB|SoTI> what's ithe future, either broadcast or online, but there has to be a breakout show
13:27:34 <bay|AB|SoTI> i keep hearing tiger and bunny.. i keep hearing this is...
13:27:42 <bay|AB|SoTI> it's definitely going in the right direction
13:28:00 <bay|AB|SoTI> it's not about the outside world saying they want to be the anime fan who likes school girls but i want to be that cool ninja
13:28:12 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: one of the things we're starting to do as a company is we're starting to do copros
13:28:32 <bay|AB|SoTI> and i don't know if you've heard.. we're working with EA and Bioware to do Mass Effect and Dragon Age
13:28:36 <bay|AB|SoTI> so that may be on the horizon..
13:29:12 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: Since the anime industry is growing, i see funi picking up more titles...
13:29:28 <bay|AB|SoTI> do you think you'll be able to license those popular overseas titles that won't be popular overhere
13:29:38 <bay|AB|SoTI> like oreimo or madoka... the really risky ones
13:30:15 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: It's possible, if things pick up at the right point, there might be stuff... we have stuff that we stream only.. slam dunk, ge999
13:30:29 <bay|AB|SoTI> we've tested the market and there aren't enough people buying it to bring it out
13:30:34 <bay|AB|SoTI> big windup s2...
13:30:53 <bay|AB|SoTI> these are coming over in some form.. if there isn't a large enough fanbase, we don't have to bring it to dvd... we can bring it online
13:30:55 <bay|AB|SoTI> (lost)
13:31:16 <bay|AB|SoTI> as for how fast we can dub, we probably get subs real quick,but it takes a while to get the dubs fast and quality, because we don't only translate it
13:31:27 <bay|AB|SoTI> but we first translate it literally, and then have a real script writer to match up to the flaps
13:31:32 <bay|AB|SoTI> and get the meaning
13:31:36 <bay|AB|SoTI> the speed of dubbing is decently...
13:31:50 <bay|AB|SoTI> R; we've increased the speed of dubbing.. we're working them like slaves
13:31:59 <bay|AB|SoTI> G; You do notice that nobody has duplicated the simuldub of kurokami
13:32:40 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: With the recent natural disaster in japan, has that effected your business practice or marketing ventures at all
13:32:50 <bay|AB|SoTI> R; Japan has been really resilliant on the business end
13:32:57 <bay|AB|SoTI> there are a few small delays with like simulcast episodes
13:33:01 <bay|AB|SoTI> but in the grand scheme, they keep on trucking
13:33:16 <bay|AB|SoTI> give them all credit in the world for getting through the diaster and keep...and all of our partners have been okay
13:33:23 <bay|AB|SoTI> there havenb't been too mnuch effects for it business wise
13:33:37 <bay|AB|SoTI> G; I'm interested if there are any long terms ones since both TAF and ACE were cancelled
13:33:50 <bay|AB|SoTI> if there will be any fallout because they couldnt meet
13:34:02 <bay|AB|SoTI> Our head news writer actually went out ...
13:34:24 <bay|AB|SoTI> I noticed that AX hasn't announced so many japanese guests so i think it will have effect on the convention plans
13:35:24 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: one of the things that is effected, is that there is a factory that was affected that produces the HD tapes...
13:34:52 <bay|AB|SoTI> so there is a year delay for these tapes
13:35:02 <bay|AB|SoTI> these tapes were going $250 a tape... and now are going $1000+
13:35:14 <bay|AB|SoTI> the NBA bought them up...
13:35:48 <bay|AB|SoTI> there are short terms to deal with these things... or they'll find a different way or something..
13:35:48 <bay|AB|SoTI> (lost)
13:36:38 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: i guess the accidental theme of this is that funimation is the industry... recently on amazon there was strike witches combo pack solicited.. and it got changed to dvd only... was it a rights issue.. or was it economy of sale
13:36:54 <bay|AB|SoTI> A; you definitely hit it, it was a materials delay...
13:37:12 <bay|AB|SoTI> we definitely think that strike witches should be released on blu (paraphrase)
13:37:19 <bay|AB|SoTI> it will be coming out later
13:37:57 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: Given that the DVD industry as a whole has seen a drop off in recent years, so funi see dvd as something that can be monotized or it will go the way of vhs and died..
13:38:02 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: Vs Bluray or...
13:38:07 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: bluray or online..
13:38:24 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: There has been a dip in DVD for physical media, but we haven't felt that as much, we're more resilliant toward that
13:38:38 <bay|AB|SoTI> A; a lot of that is due to anime fans being so open about expressing their feelings good or bad at all times
13:38:49 <bay|AB|SoTI> you can't just put episodes on a dvd on a premium price and expect them to fly
13:39:06 <bay|AB|SoTI> singles compared to boxset and people still complain
13:39:08 <bay|AB|SoTI> (para)
13:39:19 <bay|AB|SoTI> we're doing more extras, better packaging, lower the price.
13:39:25 <bay|AB|SoTI> some people see it as a stop gap, stop the bleding but the wound is still there
13:39:30 <bay|AB|SoTI> i think dvd andbluray will still be around long
13:39:43 <bay|AB|SoTI> and dvds do work on your bluray player
13:39:58 <bay|AB|SoTI> and i think streaming media is just going to wokr in there, one will eventually out take the other
13:40:09 <bay|AB|SoTI> but we're going to consistently asking you guys what you are buying and tends
13:40:30 <bay|AB|SoTI> (story about lance and his spreadsheets)
13:41:13 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: you had mentioned that your statstics of your viership ...with the move from broadcast to on demand streaming... do you think anime fandom will continue to pull in non-fans or non-predisposed
13:41:31 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: absolutely, the stop-gap for people who don't get technology is shrinking (parap)
13:41:34 <bay|AB|SoTI> it's actually coming easier...
13:41:52 <bay|AB|SoTI> so the barrier to bring in casual fans is ..just put it in their world, you have to put it in front of them
13:42:05 <bay|AB|SoTI> so you need banner ads that hit entertainment sites or other sites (miss)
13:42:18 <bay|AB|SoTI> so other stuff of the same genre and thing... and it has to be the right show....
13:42:27 <bay|AB|SoTI> each brand manager has to look by the show
13:42:42 <bay|AB|SoTI> G: Every now and then my parents will be like "we found ths anime thing on netflix"
13:42:56 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: the whole algorithms that netflix uses to make suggestions is a great tool
13:43:08 <bay|AB|SoTI> (stuff about social media)
13:43:21 <bay|AB|SoTI> And that increases exposure..so your friends and people who aren't anime fans will see things
13:43:33 <bay|AB|SoTI> so peoploe will have this whole social media thing that creates this huge function
13:43:52 <bay|AB|SoTI> it's digital marketing... it's free in a sense, but we have to create good content... which takes time...
13:44:01 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: (talking about the 8bit video for the beta site)
13:44:38 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: things like facebook, we have over 200000 likes on there now, when we post something, it instantly gets 100k or so imperssions, and those people talk about it, and then those people see it..and their family will see it, and others through alogrithms
13:44:48 <bay|AB|SoTI> so it's a great way to get exposure
13:45:13 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: (Couldn't hear... funi channel and what shows they put on it)
13:45:30 <bay|AB|SoTI> R; We actually work with a company, we're paternered with them to do the channel, we give them the content and they run the channel
13:45:33 <bay|AB|SoTI> they create the programming blocks
13:46:01 <bay|AB|SoTI> we're trying to expand it to vod..so there are exclusivity windows, timing plans... and things that revolves around when the show is going to be on VOD, on another network, on another carrier, or when it's going to be on DVD
13:46:29 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: a lot of the shows, we we get broadcast rights, there is a certain price for that... but we don't have it across the nation on everyone's channel...
13:46:42 <bay|AB|SoTI> we want to make sure we can take it to an [as] or a syfy ro something that's everywhere
13:47:17 <bay|AB|SoTI> and sometimes the japanese are like... we want it on a major network, not your channel ...for a few years (para)
13:47:24 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: Opinion on hollywood adapating anime....
13:47:46 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: It's an overall good thing.... whether it's a good movie or not.. it's exposure... say it this way..
13:47:50 <bay|AB|SoTI> it's a terrible movie that nobody liked...
13:48:10 <bay|AB|SoTI> and people are talking about the brand...and people will ask about it and hear about the series.. so they might check out the series
13:48:13 <bay|AB|SoTI> the exposure alone in the presss
13:48:28 <bay|AB|SoTI> we're hoping they make a good hit because it really hits
13:48:50 <bay|AB|SoTI> if you keep having ones that aren't so hot, they might think the industry is problematic...
13:49:04 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: This isn't something that isn't specfically limited to anime, there are bad movies of every genre that get made
13:49:17 <bay|AB|SoTI> even if it's a show that gets licensed for the US, that doesn't mean we have the rights to the live action adaptation...
13:49:22 <bay|AB|SoTI> That's almost never true....
13:49:45 <bay|AB|SoTI> (talking about related stuff)
13:49:57 <bay|AB|SoTI> (talking about speed racer)
13:50:26 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: how do you think the tokyo youth ordiance bill will afffect the industry?
13:50:34 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: It's a question of what's going to happen first before we come across it
13:51:01 <bay|AB|SoTI> waiting and watching to see what the final thing is.. political grandstanding or reality...
13:51:07 <bay|AB|SoTI> (Explaining what the bill is)
13:51:56 <bay|AB|SoTI> (going into examples)
13:52:21 <bay|AB|SoTI> R; once it's all said and done, there is going to be a potential loophole in this... aspects that you can't give your opinion..
13:52:47 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: We don't know yet what the effect is yet..
13:53:33 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: You mentioned earlier, that the company has changed hands.. how much can you talk about.. is the new private owners.. are they planning on getting involved or are they just going to sit back and want money
13:53:55 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: Actually the investment group that did is lead by pres and ceo gen, so he's leading the charge, he basicaly got this investment group together...
13:54:03 <bay|AB|SoTI> So ... it's funimation.. it's a funimation owned company...
13:54:27 <bay|AB|SoTI> A; Gen is running the day to day..and the investmnet company is like "make the folowing goals and we're cool
13:54:45 <bay|AB|SoTI> R; they wouldn't have given us this money if they didn't think we didn't knwo what we were doing
13:55:31 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q: Does showing anime on the video player help sales?
13:55:52 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: Absolutely, it gives the people the chance to sample and if they like it, they will go buy the rest
13:56:00 <bay|AB|SoTI> so we will put up the subs, and the first 4 dub... you want the dub, go buy it
13:56:10 <bay|AB|SoTI> (lost)
13:56:36 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q; Some anime companies are doing 3d anime... what would you do with that...?
13:56:55 <bay|AB|SoTI> A: we haven't delved into 3d yet..w e know the technology is out there.. we're not diving into it yet...
13:57:04 <bay|AB|SoTI> I know they showed off a 3d version of last exile last year at TAF
13:57:07 <bay|AB|SoTI> so we're going to wait and see
13:57:18 <bay|AB|SoTI> what's going to happen with 3d to see what comes out...
13:57:50 <bay|AB|SoTI> Q; Intentions in the future with subtitle and audio options?
13:57:54 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: don't have an answer...
13:58:09 <bay|AB|SoTI> A; it's availabllity, licensing, marketing, technology. (missed) issues
13:58:18 <bay|AB|SoTI> marketing might now want to show the dub and make people show the dvd
13:58:32 <bay|AB|SoTI> R: we tried to do some stuff with PSN.. but for technology reasons on both ends, it didn't end up working out
13:58:45 <bay|AB|SoTI> different files and the size of the files and hardcoded vs their technology and they couldn't do the softsubs
13:58:53 <bay|AB|SoTI> so that can vary based on the platform they are going on
13:59:00 <bay|AB|SoTI> G: Thanks everyone for coming