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Feed from the The State of the Industry panel at Providence Anime Conference 2008. Transcription: bayoab
Note: ( ) is usually commenting on the panel and was not said.
This is unedited.

17:03:55 <bay|PAC|SotI> on stage
17:04:22 <bay|PAC|SotI> Chris Ayres, Chris Beveridge, Keven McKeever, Adam Sheehan, Tom Wayland, David Williams
17:07:43 <bay|PAC|SotI> (doing intros)
17:08:00 <bay|PAC|SotI> main question is
17:08:04 <bay|PAC|SotI> is there any industry left anymore
17:08:14 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: yes, i just did slides on why the industry is fine
17:08:20 <bay|PAC|SotI> it looked like a really big problem last year
17:08:40 <bay|PAC|SotI> the overall market has been down between bootleg products and people buying less entertainment, the ep count split, the blu-ray argument...
17:08:42 <bay|PAC|SotI> there are a lot of changes going on there
17:08:50 <bay|PAC|SotI> it's a matter of working between the changes
17:08:58 <bay|PAC|SotI> for us, last year, our sales are up
17:09:14 <bay|PAC|SotI> (this is selected lines and paraphrased)
17:09:25 <bay|PAC|SotI> there is new fans coming in and new blood so i think the industry is still thriving
17:09:34 <bay|PAC|SotI> keven: the industry is still going through changes, fundamental changes
17:09:43 <bay|PAC|SotI> the idea that hte industry is going to end, they were saying that 18 years ago...
17:10:00 <bay|PAC|SotI> are times great, no. could they be better, yes
17:10:15 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: i think you are right, and they were talking about people copying vhs tapes 18 years ago
17:10:33 <bay|PAC|SotI> but the difference now is that now the fandom is bigger so it is more widespread and as chris said, it's the matter of delivery
17:10:43 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: code of ethics that is no longer there
17:10:58 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: now you can make a perfect copy on the internet and send it to people all over the world
17:11:04 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: its the method of delivery that has gotten more insidious
17:11:08 <bay|PAC|SotI> we are watching fandom grow
17:11:16 <bay|PAC|SotI> a lot of the smaller cons have doubled their numbers
17:11:27 <bay|PAC|SotI> yet, we are not seeing that kind of increase in dvd sales and things like that
17:11:38 <bay|PAC|SotI> and you see studios in japan going out of business and it is cause for alarm
17:11:50 <bay|PAC|SotI> i don't think the market is going to vanish
17:12:01 <bay|PAC|SotI> we are going to see, if things don't get better, we are going to see a change in the kind and quality of shows...
17:12:20 <bay|PAC|SotI> tom: approaching this differently being in production... but a lot of things for the industy, it seems like the walmart thing
17:12:41 <bay|PAC|SotI> the mom and pops are being squeeze out, one of the walmarts being.. you (funi)... and im not judging you...
17:12:47 <bay|PAC|SotI> CPM got squeezed out for a number of reasons...
17:13:16 <bay|PAC|SotI> where we record pokemon, it's a giant post facility and we work on big budget hollywood films ad other stuff.. and there is a change industry wide
17:13:32 <bay|PAC|SotI> anyone who really survived on dvd sales... those people are i trouble because of the online method
17:13:41 <bay|PAC|SotI> thats where it is going in a big hurry, that is where people are going for their media and sharing their media..
17:13:52 <bay|PAC|SotI> im wondering how some of you plan to combat that and come back with that..
17:14:30 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: david said at his panel, very often, if you can break even on box office sales, thats good because you will make it up with dvds and merchandising
17:14:54 <bay|PAC|SotI> tom: thats where things like online piracy scale those companies so much.. it seems like int he anime world, it isn't being policed that strongy
17:15:19 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: (prefaced by saying these are his own opinions) on the one hand, you have to go after it, but do you want to take a page from the RIAA and alienate your customers..
17:15:29 <bay|PAC|SotI> you stop the bootlegging and educate people, but you don't want to make enemies out of them
17:15:36 <bay|PAC|SotI> and you don't want to tell them i automatically think of you as criminals
17:15:54 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: (mentions the 3 who were arrested for share)
17:16:07 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: i think thats a little strong, we are on a bunch of digital methods and we put it out subtitled...
17:16:32 <bay|PAC|SotI> the cool thing about youtube is once you are on there... you get access to the backend and you can take down stuff with a lcick of the button
17:16:44 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: there is a growing number of fans who realize this is hurting the industry and peer pressure is the way to go on that
17:17:18 <bay|PAC|SotI> keven: he bringns up a good point talking about education....
17:17:35 <bay|PAC|SotI> there are people who don't realize they are hurting the companies...
17:17:46 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: there is a generation out there who doesn't know its bad
17:17:57 <bay|PAC|SotI> keven: the problem is the generation growing up with the internet and getting this stuff for free...
17:18:24 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: i think there is one danger with that... with greg's panel, he has never made it personal... what he says is it hurts the industry in japan..
17:18:55 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: i think this comes down to people nont being educated
17:19:08 <bay|PAC|SotI> and if the industry goes away, its going to hurt japan because it is going to hurt globally since it is a global industry now
17:19:23 <bay|PAC|SotI> (bunch of stuff about production)
17:19:52 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: at some point last year, the Japanese gov issued a letter to the US gov asking them to stop fansubbing
17:20:23 <bay|PAC|SotI> and the forums were sayingn "fuck the japanese"
17:20:54 <bay|PAC|SotI> watanabe was onne of the first japanese guests to speak to an audience last year...
17:20:59 <bay|PAC|SotI> the fans were like "screw him"
17:21:02 <bay|PAC|SotI> after they put the clips up
17:21:29 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: i like what greg's been doing...
17:21:55 <bay|PAC|SotI> (someone saw his panel and came over to buy stuff)
17:22:22 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam; i don't remember who said it, but you will find a way to get your $20 to buy your anime...
17:23:11 <bay|PAC|SotI> question: if any of your companies have considered investing in educational projects...
17:23:40 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: yes, actually, we are in the process of working with many companies and putting something together...and its not getting out fast enough
17:23:55 <bay|PAC|SotI> and then we picked up a bunch of shows...
17:23:58 <bay|PAC|SotI> but we are working on educating...
17:25:10 <bay|PAC|SotI> (Talking about save our anime)
17:26:27 <bay|PAC|SotI> (greg ayres panel is up on youtube for more educational materials)
17:27:08 <bay|PAC|SotI> are the companies putting out pamphlets? not yet...
17:27:36 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: if you bring us a bootleg to sign, we won't sign it...
17:27:42 <bay|PAC|SotI> in most cases, they don't even know its a bootleg
17:28:24 <bay|PAC|SotI> q: any industry estimates on the correlation between illegal copies and sales?
17:28:32 <bay|PAC|SotI> a; it's really hard to do a correlation.... but this goes back to the vhs..
17:28:35 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw
17:28:39 <bay|PAC|SotI> going back to nuku nuku...
17:28:58 <bay|PAC|SotI> the first 3 vols were heavily fansubbed and came out into the states.. the later ones weren't as heavily fansubbed
17:29:06 <bay|PAC|SotI> normally, it's a expential drop in sales...
17:29:15 <bay|PAC|SotI> the sales exponentially rose
17:30:03 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: i don't know what happened, but arthur smith with gonzo intl, went to one of the colleges that do the huge studies to do a study on the actual effects of downloading.. unfrotuntaely with everything that is happening gonzo, i don't kow what has happened with that or what is being worked on that...
17:31:03 <bay|PAC|SotI> (talking about stopfansubs on LJ who transcribes greg's panels...)
17:31:25 <bay|PAC|SotI> (talking about how they get excessively attacked)
17:33:19 <bay|PAC|SotI> q: about legal digital media... is it something that is being heavily focused on...?
17:33:24 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlwl: yea, funimation is doing it, we are doing it..
17:33:42 <bay|PAC|SotI> it's a two prog attack, educate the fans about the damage to the industry, but at the same time, you try and attack all the excuses they ahve for it
17:34:00 <bay|PAC|SotI> like if they say it isn't coming fast enough, you try and get it faster...
17:34:23 <bay|PAC|SotI> q'r: (basically.. about previewing over digital media)
17:34:45 <bay|PAC|SotI> for me, the model that the music industry has used, i actually buy more now that i can check stuff out on itunes or such...
17:34:47 <bay|PAC|SotI> is that a model that the industry is lookinng
17:34:57 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: when speedgrapher came out, it was really up there...
17:35:12 <bay|PAC|SotI> up with lost on itunes
17:35:28 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: it's still new...
17:35:52 <bay|PAC|SotI> back in the day, you used to go to cons to see new stuff...
17:36:12 <bay|PAC|SotI> it is part of the plan to get you to sample them and then purchase it at a lower price point or get it out quicker...
17:36:55 <bay|PAC|SotI> tom: (to the panel) when you are choosig to license a show, it seems that shows that will exist on DVD only are not a smart investment... when you are looking to get a show, do you get a TV deal already... how do you go about looking at picking a show
17:37:15 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: doing a show that is only home video ights only is not a bad thing as long as you are aware of it going into it and the prices are appropriate for that
17:37:19 <bay|PAC|SotI> it's a matter of knowing what kind of return on it...
17:37:26 <bay|PAC|SotI> obviously, you are going to try and get all the rights that you possibly cam
17:37:39 <bay|PAC|SotI> tom: but even if you are doing straight to dvd, can you get the word out without it being on tv
17:37:49 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: yes, i don't think you need to be on tv to get a successful show...
17:37:51 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam agreed
17:38:21 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: lets go to gantz... it's never been on tv, it sells well... elfen lied... noir.. you don't have to have it on tv to make it successful
17:38:28 <bay|PAC|SotI> but you have to know ahead of time and budget appropriately
17:38:45 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: with stuff like gantz, they knew what market they were shooting for
17:40:01 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw (mentioning he knows there is stuff he doesn't like that will sell well (gantz, fma, etc)
17:40:04 <bay|PAC|SotI> )
17:40:27 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: i totally agree.. it totally comes to setting your expectations early... we have a checklist that equals a grade
17:40:53 <bay|PAC|SotI> as long as we go in kowing that.. you can advertise through websites, word of mouth, coventions...
17:40:55 <bay|PAC|SotI> for niche shows...
17:41:06 <bay|PAC|SotI> if its a larger show, it damn well better be in retail
17:41:23 <bay|PAC|SotI> bev: the thing to remember is each title can be successful on some level...
17:41:43 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: as long as you got your expectations and you can budget appropriately...
17:41:46 <bay|PAC|SotI> and can get to the next title
17:42:21 <bay|PAC|SotI> q: one of the excuses is the price of anime...
17:42:28 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: one thing that was tried was the gantz experiment...
17:42:44 <bay|PAC|SotI> fans said they watned it faster and cheaper.. so gantz was put out 2 discs monthly...
17:42:49 <bay|PAC|SotI> at $9 a disc or cheaper
17:42:54 <bay|PAC|SotI> and the fans threw a fit
17:43:10 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: it still sold, and it still sold exactly what we predicted even if we hadn't done it like that
17:43:17 <bay|PAC|SotI> how much of that is a real reason vs an excuse
17:43:38 <bay|PAC|SotI> (bev vs ayres about shelf space argument)
17:44:17 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: you can get rid of those singles
17:44:24 <bay|PAC|SotI> now with the thinpak
17:44:42 <bay|PAC|SotI> (bev mentioned how odd it was release wise with gantz)
17:45:07 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: (talking about moving anime more like tv on dvd...moving stuff cheaper, quicker, and smaller)
17:45:47 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: and people always say lost is only $20, but its already aired on tv, and merchandise... and the rest...
17:45:50 <bay|PAC|SotI> anime is only 1% of the market...
17:45:57 <bay|PAC|SotI> it is extremely niche
17:46:42 <bay|PAC|SotI> q: about itunes and pricing.. there is a magic line for consumers for pricing..
17:46:58 <bay|PAC|SotI> (talking about the .99 and sales)
17:47:24 <bay|PAC|SotI> q'r: fake money is even worse... (xbox live)
17:48:02 <bay|PAC|SotI> (were talking about size of screen and people watching anime)
17:48:11 <bay|PAC|SotI> (talking about people watching shows on the phone)
17:48:48 <bay|PAC|SotI> bev: one of the things you see in hollywood is people including the digital copy simultaneously
17:48:53 <bay|PAC|SotI> how about that ?
17:49:10 <bay|PAC|SotI> keven: you have to give something else on that dvd, thats my personal view.. if you are going to charge more for it is that is..
17:49:39 <bay|PAC|SotI> bev: you see that more with the blu-ray side... and getting the movie out there in a legit version and a smaller copy..
17:49:55 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: we are looking into this and the costs are insane...
17:50:10 <bay|PAC|SotI> tom: you guys don't get pressured to have lots of extras?
17:50:24 <bay|PAC|SotI> when i worked with CPM, we loved making extras...
17:50:44 <bay|PAC|SotI> because blockbuster wanted stuff with extras so that people would watch them and turn it in late...
17:50:56 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: we don't get pressured on that angle...
17:51:09 <bay|PAC|SotI> either the japanese have them and we will buy them or (missed)
17:51:51 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: seeing fewer extras on discs because so much money is being lost due to bootlegging
17:52:00 <bay|PAC|SotI> it costs more on the back end of creating the dvd to add those..
17:52:38 <bay|PAC|SotI> tom: but at cpm, we loved making features... and the management was like... this isn't making the disc sell more, so we are going to stop...
17:53:33 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: the costs of putting out those amazing boxes is immense... thats one of the things that needed to be cut down
17:54:13 <bay|PAC|SotI> (question about the new PM in japan)
17:54:40 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: japan has gotten big about selling their shows... they have a group for working with the american companies..
17:55:04 <bay|PAC|SotI> (talking about licensing eva)
17:55:45 <bay|PAC|SotI> q: (question about merchandise, trademark violation, and costumers)
17:56:05 <bay|PAC|SotI> (being a concern or not)
17:56:29 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: if you are putting together a costume for someone, you don't have to worry about it... we would go after someone who is selling 1000's of bootlegged shirts
17:57:35 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: more and more cons cracking down on fanart... (after adam's comment about why dealers point toward artist alley after those who were selling decals)
17:59:13 <bay|PAC|SotI> (talking about artists alley)
17:59:28 <bay|PAC|SotI> bev: couple minutes left.. say something positive about the industry... so much negativity...
18:00:22 <bay|PAC|SotI> keven: i think the industry has a great future ahead of it .. look at it this way, we have anime movies in theaters... 5 years ago, that wasn't happening... anime is more and more mainstream now... i think it has a bright future ahead of it.. i wish i could give some quantified hard evidence
18:00:35 <bay|PAC|SotI> adam: the overall doom and gloom bubble has popped and everything is moving upward...
18:01:02 <bay|PAC|SotI> new people coming into the industry and being educated...
18:01:03 <bay|PAC|SotI> education over the long term...
18:01:50 <bay|PAC|SotI> tom: american pop culture has become such an intrinsic part of japanese pop culture.. they are linked together... anime is never going to go away in this country or that country... look at teen titans and avatar... in terms of the business, it's business, it cycles..
18:01:52 <bay|PAC|SotI> look at the dow..
18:02:12 <bay|PAC|SotI> certain factors are already changing in a positive way..
18:02:13 <bay|PAC|SotI> how anime has already boomed...
18:02:46 <bay|PAC|SotI> and the price to licensing things got too high... (and that put some companies out.. and so those prices started dropping)
18:02:58 <bay|PAC|SotI> the cultures are so linked that it's never going to go away, it's just going to get closer
18:03:31 <bay|PAC|SotI> ayres: to me one of the intresting things is when greg did his panel, the second half has changed to positive things he has seen... probably for me one of the positive things im seeing is fans more educated
18:04:39 <bay|PAC|SotI> believe the industry is going to be saved by the fans, fans are good people, they are intelligent, they are tech savy, and they know the difference between right and wrong (After talking about how fansubbing is hurting the industry)
18:04:59 <bay|PAC|SotI> dlw: i know this is a 21 and up con, but there is not may of you in here who remember this but i can give an example from history.. i think it will be there and get stronger
18:05:26 <bay|PAC|SotI> back in the 80s we had video games... it was a huge market... it was growing .. and then it suddenly nosedived in 83... and people claimed it died...
18:05:35 <bay|PAC|SotI> then nintendo popped in and video games came back
18:05:38 <bay|PAC|SotI> thats a real history example of the cycle that anime goes through
18:05:54 <bay|PAC|SotI> we went through a time period here and it's getting bigged..
18:05:57 <bay|PAC|SotI> we have graphs i the office.. it peaked in 2004
18:06:00 <bay|PAC|SotI> *in
18:06:08 <bay|PAC|SotI> -*it was getting big
18:06:58 <bay|PAC|SotI> there are things in anime that im more than happy to invest in (after talking about how big an investor he is)
18:07:00 <bay|PAC|SotI> end
Notes: None