‘Yuri!!! on Ice’ publisher restricts Blu-ray, DVD exports
“Yuri!!! on Ice” is undoubtedly one of the most popular anime shows from last season. Unfortunately, international fans might be in for a bit of inconvenience when purchasing the Blu-rays.
According to a RocketNews24 report, Avex Pictures, the publisher behind the phenomenal hit has decided to refuse selling their products to customers outside of Japan.
CD Japan, an online shop that offers a wide variety of Japanese goods to international customers, recently announced that Avex Pictures “is restricting exports of Blu-ray, DVD and CD titles” as of February 15.
At first, hearing a business refuse to sell products to prospective international customers might seem foolhardy, especially for a company in the anime industry which has a globalized fanbase. But looking closer, it appears that Apex is exploring a different business opportunity to raise the company’s income.
This comes in the form of license fees. With a more globalized marketplace for anime related products, overseas license fees can become more profitable. As opposed to indirectly selling products to international customers, having a local partner who will purchase the license to sell localized releases has great earning potential for a company like Avex Pictures.
The downside to this approach is that fans of a particular series will have to wait several months after the Blu-rays and DVDs have been released in Japan, before they can get their hands on localized releases in their own countries. The waiting time could also drum down enthusiasm towards a currently popular show.
This could make product sales more difficult to predict. The amount of anime being released recently offers viewers more options to choose from, so unless a show has a consistent fanbase, international sales for the home release, be it streamed content or physical media, could be greatly affected.
All in all, it’s a very risky move for Apex Pictures. For one, international fans are quite persistent and will likely turn to proxy services when it comes to exporting their favorite titles. For now, only time will tell if the strategy will end up being a boon or a liability to the company. Alfred Bayle/JB
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