Not the words I'd like to hear from the CEO of the studio I just recently did a freaken anime dubbing class for!! There is [some] truth (and a bit of giving up) from Eric Sherman's statement though.
So who's killing anime: Fan Dubbers. Ok, I'm a big fan of Team Four Star's DBZ Abridged but let face it, fan dubbing IS killing the industry; but as I've said in a previous post, this is a two way street. We have to ask the question of why anime fan dubbing has gone rampant. Other than us anime fans wanting to be a part of anime in every way; part of the blame goes to studios here in the US that see a very popular anime...but fail to get it here in due time. The result, fandamonium and thus fan dubs galore and then no DVD/Blu-ray/download sales. Combine that with the way DVD and Blu-ay sales are being replaced by online and downloads...and thus you will see sales drop.
If I was Eric Sherman, I'd do what any CEO needs to do, and that's getting with the times. Observe FUNimation; they now take in many fan dubbers and many fans into anime series (of course you still have to go through the voice acting grind). As Tony Oliver o Bang Zoom! saw from the voice dubbing classes, there's a slew of great voice talent that when combined with the love of anime, it's a potent combination. Though compared to commercial or video game dubbing, anime dubbing is low pay (at about $70/hour compared to $500 in 4 hours in other dubbing mediums)..but it sure as hell beats what's currently out there in the job market!
Hey, anime sales effect me too since I am a legit anime retailer, but from one CEO to another, Eric, please, don't give up on anime. The fans are more crazy than ever, the popularity of both DBZ and Sailor Moon will bring back a new age of anime fandom, sales, etc, with or without the help of has-been networks like Cartoon Network. Also...I was planning on flying to Burbank from here on Long Island, NY so I can drop you guys $1300 for a voice demo CD...so you have future business; don't give up. There ARE places making money online from anime. My store profits alone equal that of my (still needed for now) day job and let's not forget Crunchy Roll, they bank good $ from showing mainly free and 100% legit anime on their site.
Here are my suggestions for the anime business to make money:
- License/Dub popular anime. Why in the hell K-On! is still exclusive to Japan makes any marketing person do a facepalm.
- More simulcasts. This is the 21st century and Japan isn't closed from communication. Get in touch with studios in Japan and get cracking on the dubbing and get the anime series released in BOTH parts of the world. any anime studios in Japan STILL think there are no such thing as fans of anime outside of Japan. If that means doing anime dubbing in ::gasp:: the group format they do in Japan as oppose to the one-by-one format we do here, then do it. The internet created the NOW generation. Get the dubs out NOW for a series that comes out NOW...otherwise, who'd want buy an anime series in English if they already saw it in Japanese a year earlier. I post figures the day of their pre-order release in Japan for my anime store because by tomorrow..it's old news..same for the actual anime series.
- Let the fans guide you. Following marketing trends in the anime business is the same in other businesses but in anime, the fans stay longer so if an anime is hot, go with it and STAY with it through since the fans will and still are there. Use sites like Danny Choo, this site once things really get rolling or anime figure trends. If I had the money you studios have to licence series, I'd make sure I'd have K-On!, Touhou Project and Black Rock Shooter, Sailor Moon (yep SM again) in the bag RIGHT NOW, not 3 years later...NOW.
One thing is certain though, anime won't EVER completely die. Vegeta does have a word for you all though on what might before anime does...