Anime Online Promotion Loses Out [6:19 pm]
Apparently, the firms have decided that they can make more money another way: Anxious times in the cartoon underground
For years this “fansubbing” community has believed that Japanese animation studios tacitly condoned their online activities, at least as long as the shows hadn’t yet been released in the United States. But in early December, a studio called Media Factory began sending letters to a handful of big anime fan sites ordering them to stop distributing or linking to copies of its works online.
[...] With echoes of Hollywood’s recent attack on mainstream film-swapping, the Media Factory episode has shaken the complacency of the fast-growing anime file-swapping community. But the event is also triggering broader discussions over the role of the Internet fan communities that have become such a critical factor in the success of some media companies and a thorn in the sides of others.
Hard numbers are always hard to come by. [...]
[...] ADV is one of the most adamant of the U.S. distributors. Other smaller houses privately say they recognize the promotional value of the online distribution, which can help boost sales for top titles. But there’s also a potential downside.
One executive who asked not to be named said the last two years have seen a significant shift in sales patterns. Top titles still sell well, but the middle categories that used to sell respectable numbers of copies are “being forgotten,” he said.