We sat down with Anime News Network recently to talk about the Kamisama Kiss Goddess Edition, FUNimation’s first Premium Edition release. In the interview, we talk about why we decided to use Kamisama Kiss as our first title for this type of configuration, and why simulcasts numbers are so important. Click here to read the entire interview.

 

Since the interview was published, we’ve been reading some of the comments posted by fans, and we wanted to answer a few questions for you. So, we went to our Acquisitions Team to get the low down.

Why do simulcast views matter so much?

 

There are several reasons:

1)  We have to make decisions very early on regarding whether a title is a viable pick up for home video release, and then what type of home video release to produce so that we can get it on the market as quickly as possible. Fans want things released quickly and so do we. If we waited until months after a simulcast finishes airing to make these decisions then the release would take much longer to reach the market–which is something no one wants.

While simulcast views are only one of many metrics we use to track the performance and popularity of a brand it is a very important and valuable one. As an example, Hollywood pays careful attention to ratings (which simulcast views are similar to) when evaluating a show’s popularity.

 

2)  We aren’t the only ones paying attention to simulcast performance. Japanese licensors review simulcast view performance and consider it a metric of a brand’s success. Also, our business partners who manufacture merchandise want to know which brands are the most successful on simulcast etc.

 

3)  Think of a simulcast like it’s broadcast TV. Ratings are most important when a show is broadcasting a new season. Due to similar issues we deal with, business decisions must be made based on how well a show performed during its initial broadcast. Ratings and views of reruns/syndication are also good, but are less impactful to the brand and its chances of getting renewed.

 

Are simulcasts a valid metric to measure brand popularity?

(This question was raised by Echo_City in the Anime News Network forum. You can read the full comment here.)

 

In the analysis we have done of past seasons, the simulcast view performance of a brand is one of the single best indicators of how well the home video will sell.

 

Will there be exceptions and outliers? Of course there will be. However, much more often than not, if way more people watch something like Attack on Titan/Psycho Pass/Kamisama Kiss that means it will sell more home video units than a brand that had far less simulcast views.

 

When should I watch a simulcast to best support the brand? Does it have to be within 24 hours of a new episode going live?

 

The time when views most help a brand are during its initial simulcast run. For a 13 episode series the time when your views have the most positive impact is the time from when episode one goes live to the week after episode 13 goes live (seven days from the posting of the last episode). While watching an episode within 24 hours of it being posted is great, as long as you watch during the simulcast run of the season it really doesn’t matter when.

 

After all of the episodes of a show’s season finish airing, it morphs from a “simulcast” into a “regular” streaming brand since there are no new episodes coming out until a possible future season.  In other words, it ceases to be a “simulcast” after it finishes airing new episodes. To most impact decisions made about that brand’s future, views during the simulcast matter most.

 

How can I most help a brand I like if I prefer to binge an entire season at once?

 

The best way to support a brand’s simulcast if you are a streaming “binger” is to binge it right before the last episode airs or during the 7-day period after the last episode goes live.  If you do this then your binge view of each episode will count toward the final simulcast view tally for that brand.

 

When we look at final performance of a brand’s simulcast we look at “life to date” view counts for every episode on the season from the date the first episode went live to seven days after the last episode went live. This will constitute its “simulcast period” for our planning purposes.

 

How else can I help FUNimation and brands besides just watching simulcasts?

 

  • Send your friends links to watch brands you like
  • Comment on our Facebook page
  • Communicate with us via social media – we are listening
  • Watch television broadcasts of our brands (ex. Space Dandy)
  • Purchase our content digitally (on iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.)
  • Pre-order home video releases
    • This helps us plan how much to manufacture and be more accurate
      • If we can order a bigger print run then we get lower cost of goods which frees up money elsewhere for things like brand acquisitions