ICv2 continues its series of interviews with publishers in a discussion with Viz Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Dan Marks. In Part 2 of this two-part interview, we talk about anime on mobile devices, manga downloads, and the future of print, DVDs, and digital delivery. In Part 1, we talked about digital delivery of anime and its potential impact on DVD sales.
Do any of the services that you're using now make anime episodes available for mobile devices?
They may, but we are not permitting it.
So somebody would have to download to a computer and then transfer?
Yes. For example, Amazon allows their users to use anywhere between five and eight devices, and those devices include portable devices and sometimes mobile devices.
That's Amazon's download to own service, but you're not on that service.
No we're not. That was an example. Each company has a different requirement. We've negotiated different things with each of our providers. IGN is two devices, I believe. Once you have it, you can transfer it to another device.
Akimbo was kind of built like that, you take it from the computer to the TV?
There's a set top box, yes. But we can limit things in various different ways.
I wanted to talk also about digital delivery of manga. Is Viz doing anything with that? In terms of do we have anything available? No. Are we looking into things? Absolutely. What business models do you see as the most promising in that area? Whatever our parent companies allow us to do. It's hard to say. We're embarking on a research process right now that hopefully gives us that answer. We're working very closely with our parent companies and in
I wanted to talk also about digital delivery of manga. Is Viz doing anything with that?
In terms of do we have anything available? No. Are we looking into things? Absolutely.
What business models do you see as the most promising in that area?
Whatever our parent companies allow us to do. It's hard to say. We're embarking on a research process right now that hopefully gives us that answer. We're working very closely with our parent companies and in
There were some reports that came out of
The Japanese market is completely different.
In what ways?
One, it's a mature market. On the magazine side manga sales have been decreasing for probably eight to 10 years. The way the cell phone is used in
The use of cell phones in
I think both. There was just something in the news yesterday saying that
Five years from now, what do you think the digital delivery share of the manga and anime markets will be in the
(Laughs) Any guess I made would be so far off. In terms of anime, I think it's going to be larger than manga. At least a lot of what we've found right now on the manga side is that people still like to have the physical product. On the DVD side that may hold true, but I think it's going to go away a little faster, unless HD and Blu-ray change that.
You still have to put it into a machine, where with manga you can carry around and you don't need a machine.
Right. We are still finding -- at least in surveys, polls, etc. -- that the preference on the manga side strongly is for paper. I think if you look at the sales of e-books, they still haven't really taken off in most markets. I think that's not only related to manga, it's print in general. The exception maybe being short newspaper type items.
In terms of anime, my daughter is 2 and 1/2 and she sometimes prefers to watch a DVD on the computer versus the TV. I think her generation is just going to look at everything as the same; it's just content that's available on a different screen. So I think anime is going to move quicker to the digital adaptation.
But you don't want to lay out any percentages?
It may make a nice quote, but it's going to be based on absolutely nothing.
You can't extrapolate the trends because they're so small?
They're so small. The download-to-own market in the
Anything that I didn't ask about that you might see as a big trend?
Internet TV may be interesting -- things like Joost and Babelgum -- the reason being the streaming costs are a lot less, closer to zero, because it's P2P. What they're trying to do, as I see it, is replace TV. You can broadcast. It's video-on-demand with commercials inside of it. It will be quite interesting to see if that takes off. Joost has been in beta for quite a while and once it gets out it'll be interesting to see -- especially considering the marquee names behind it and has been able to do a number of major deals.
Then there are things like YouTube or Veeoh which have huge audiences. It's always interesting to see. YouTube just announced a deal in the