This Monday, ADV Films, a licensor of region 1 Anime announced that it would shut it’s doors for good and transfer assets to other companies. The announcement cause many people to be surprised and caught off guard. However this was expected because ADV Films for the past few years made several fatal mistakes that lead to the shutdown of ADV films.
So, what lead to ADV Films ultimately folding?
ADV Films was once a strong licensor and looked highly towards with the many successes with the dubbing aspect, but several mistakes they make caused them to ultimately cause them and their reputation to weaken in 2008 and ultimately crashing in 2009. The recession that worsen in late 2008 didn’t help either and made things a lot worse.
Ever since 2008, ADV had a bad year, ending up having to shut down the UK devision, suspending the Anime ADVocates program, ended the relationship with Sojitz (which may be the cause of not having enough funding, thus calling it the ADV Meltdown), and ultimately transferring 30 titles to Funimation since they aren’t able to continue distributing it.
On top of that, in early 2009, ADV flops again and said that Clannad won’t have a Dub which caused people to go in a frenzy and cause the reputation of ADV to go down even further, after they screwed up in 2008 with distribution of Anime availability. Lucky for them, Clannad actually sold better than expected despite fan reaction to no dub, but still didn’t stop the inevitable…
The problem with ADV is that a combination of mismanagement of their part and unable to meet the fan’s demands and giving them accurate information, it too contributed to ADV Films ultimately shutting down.
What mistakes have ADV done?
1. Not listening and informing the fans.
Besides from the negative reaction towards ADV for not providing a dub for Clannad, they never have a good system of informing the fans or even have any good communication by email. Another thing is that their website is hardly updated so fans could get accurate information.
Not to mention, ADV films for what I remembered never had a blog, unlike others. Funimation and Bandai Entertainment have one, so why not ADV? Perhaps they are too lazy.
2. Not providing accurate information
ADV is infamous of this for awhile. They pull the titles before they put the information back and also never give information about the schedule releases (going back with #1).
3. Decisions and Anime on DVD.
ADV seems to depend on listening users on Anime on DVD (now Mania.com) according to Zac Bertchsy, which is the worse possible way of deciding on what series to license/produce. (maybe too exaggerated, but they shouldn’t have depended on AoD too much)
4. Poor distribution and supply of DVDs and delays.
ADV also made this mistake… a lot. and they usually delayed various series with no explanation which was common in 2008 (aka ADV’s bad year). These delays, however cause negative reaction to fans, for example this post from the blog post of GAR GAR Stegosaurus… Great way to screw loyally paying customers.
5. Licensing more than they can handle.
ADV always seems to go and license a large amount of series and end up failing on a number of them. Instead of licensing a few of them and give them a quality release, they most likely do a wing job and just put it out in the market as fast as they can, which usually cause mistakes. This is also what contributed to their big downfall.
6. Depending way too much on Neon Genesis Evangelion…
and also ADV’s desire to make a Evangelion live action movie surely cooked up a disaster, which resulted in a big loss of money. You can only go so far with Evangelion…
7. ADV’s Mismanagement and Bad Business Plan.
If you have take a course in business, you know that the Business Plan. It’s what makes up your business and how will it operate. ADV took too many risky plans which resulted in a loss of money. Mismanagement on ADV’s part did not help either since they can’t seem to get the company on track and come up with a project that will be actually be successful.
What can Section23 Films learn from ADV’s mistakes?
Now since Section23 Films ultimately own all the companies that owned ADV’s assets, they need to learn from ADV’s mistakes and learn from them. They need to listen to the fans (through means of email, phone or even Twitter) and give accurate information instead of removing the listings and adding them again. Another thing is that they shouldn’t really take the suggestions from AnimeonDVD aka mania.com and figure out what would fans want instead of having a large number of failed projects. They also need to provide a well designed and regularly updated website with the latest information and also keep a blog on what they are doing. Lastly, they need to take their time on making a quality release instead of acquiring a lot of licenses and not being able to make a quality release.
What’s Happening with ADV Films – Anime News Network ¶