A Business analysis of Odex

Now that the Odex saga has mostly died out ( except for the anti-Odex brochures that i have received in Comex and the toy riot) , i wanna say something about Odex before it is out of my memory..

As a person, i would have to frankly say that Odex is right in trying to decrease the anime downloaders in Singapore.. To tell the truth, we all know that it is not right to be downloading anime illegally just as it is illegal to download mp3 and supprt music piracy.. However, i feel that Odex was wrong in using lawyer letters as a tactic to do just that.. And it was not as if this was the first time a company had sent lawyer letters to people so as to curb piracy and my guess is that it would not be the last as well.. Singaporeans may still remember how RIAS had once also sent such letters to the public as well and because of that, had a lot of public backlash as well..

Of course, a lot of the negative image now tagged with Odex is because of the law cases.. But why is there such a big backlash.. Essentially, companies do not generally sue ordinary citizens because of a David vs. Goliath situation.. For those who do not know the term, it is like a bigger more powerful guy trying to pick a fight with a smaller guy.. But some may rebuke that it isn’t so because Odex is a small company.. But i beg to differ.. However small a company, if it attempts to have a lawsuit with the public, it would seem bigger.. this is because public has this perception that companies are always bigger than the man on the street.. Moreover, this is so when the guys whom Odex sent lawsuit to is the typical pimply teenagers.. This would ,to thepublic, seems like a scare tactic and with the latest verdict on the PacNet case, this seems more even so.

But why people feels indignant over this case was also because of Odex’s products as well.. Long have we heard that Odex products sucks and such.. Odex ,no doubt, distributes anime but it is often at a later date.. Mostly, Odex would churn out VCDs that is six months after the released date in Japan.. Now for the fans of such an anime, this is too long a wait.. The want to watch episodes as fast as they are released is not restricted to anime watchers as well.. In fact that is the reason why Youtube is filled with the latest episode of Taiwanese Drama.. Especially since there is now the Internet and the target audience for anime is already teenagers who are Internet savvy as a whole.. Therefore, you can see how Odex did not meet the primary demands from their target customers which was that of speed.. And speediness is exactly what fan subs group can provide.. Therefore, there is actually vey little reason not to download anime still.. Therefore, we would hear complains on how Odex’s products sux.. And although Odex’s products has packaging and nice CDs and whatsoever, but this is just frills and only marginal benefits to the real anime fans..True, there is a lot of work to include four language sub and the same four langauge dubbing.. But this isn’t still what anime fans want.. And the extra value given to the VCD is not justifiable for the long wait..To use an analogy, anime lovers are like the hungy lunch crowd.. Fan sub group are restaurants that offer fast service and hot piping food is served fast.. but Odex is like this old-fashioned cafe who believes in cooking the food slowly.. The catch is that although it is slow to serve up , the taste of these two restaurants is similar .. Therefore, customers would feel that going to the fan-subs is way better than waiting for Odex and that the “food” that fan-subs offer is way better than Odex…

So what is Odex to do then? They cannot prosecute or risks facing more backlash .. Yet, they cannot do nothing and eat wind ( Local term for earning nothing) .. The only method ,i feel, is to match product to product then.. Note how anime fans is all about speed.. So if there is a method to release anime fast or faster than fan-subs, Odex would benefit a lot from it.. Because i think people would be willing to pay a little price to download anime fast and yet legally.. Just like how RIAS switched from prosecution to promoting i-Tunes.. So Odex would sure benefit a lot of such a strategy as well… Just my 2 cents worth..

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~ by rojakgeekiness on September 9, 2007.

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