Friday, August 24, 2012

anime on TV?

This is a hypothetical discussion on if piracy stopped completely.

As you're all aware for various reasons (age of audience, licencing issues, market splits) anime is pirated comparatively more than most other media compared to it's sales.

What if through some form of magic (not going to happen otherwise, no matter what Hollywood lobbyists might want) media piracy stopped overnight. Hollywood would naturally hope you'd buy their crap.

Pre internet that might have been the case, you needed that distribution and advertising power. You had to put your product into every store in the country to be in the market, now you just have to get it on Amazon. Monopolies are good for consumers so long as they can have competition, being so close to perfect no one can start a competitor is fine.

Now onto our discussion.
First off the magic spell hasn't given our audience any more money. They are still amongst the poorest of all social groups (teenage to 20-something geeks), or at least ones that have plenty of other expensive things to buy, like gadgets, games consoles and PCs.

Does our audience have any money?
No  (they'll have less than now)
(you can still make money off people without it!! advertising revenue)

Does our audience have any time?
They're really picky and you need to fight with other services: in particular video games and/or social media. Free to play models set a minimum standard for what has "value" in these spaces

Hence we get to the point , we'd need a free to consume (universally available) ad supported content delivery system. Television. Not internet streaming, due to the availability issues (TV reception is more common than good quality internet). Internet piracy has killed TV as a distribution medium, leaving it only good for mass market shows aimed at those incapable of piracy (luddites, the lazy, and the very poor), those unwilling to pirate but with the capability will use online options, or buy/rent optical media (DVD/BD).

In the future we'll need internet streaming, when the internet is finally available to everyone and not just in name only, i.e. uncapped, net-neutral, and at guaranteed minimum speeds 

This view also notes that it's piracy that's killed TV, not the internet itself. Lawful options are still laughably behind the unlawful. Hell, with software patent cases as they are, some major companies solutions are arguably unlawful. We also still lack any established methods for the internet to produce content (crowd funding?).

Now without piracy (and with the TV taking up some of it's role) would I watch TV?
I would if the content was original (i.e. unavailable through other means) and  was of sufficient quality, the "free to play" game analogy holds, the value of a poor product can be less than worthless.

This makes a production economy where you wish to maximise ad revenue compared to cost. This does not mean maximise viewership, as with the "free to play" games a small community with deep pockets can prop it up for everyone else. e.g. an authoritative business news program could support high productions costs (good research) with a small viewership as it's adverts should be worth more as it has a wealthy intended audience. Similarly niche shows should be okay, as you can target advertising accurately like how anime works in Japan, productions backed almost solely by dedicated merchandise aimed at a tiny hardcore. You still need to set all that up, and keep it up until that hardcore channel hop onto you one day. This is the model TV is built on now, but it needs to be way less conservative, new players need to come in and take big risks if you want to grab the new ex-pirate audience.

Would this restore the "good old days"?
Maybe, but you have far more competition now and that money for merchandise buying has to come out of some other bit of the creative industries.

The market is a hell of a lot meaner than it was even without the pirates.

Also magic spells; they're not real.

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