ANIME DVD, CD SALES AND DISTRIBUTION
In many cases, the distributor of anime DVDs and CDs will have a label dedicated to its anime releases. For example, King Records releases its anime goods under the label "Starchild" and avex's anime label is "avex mode". The staff working under that anime label will then be able to focus and specialise on the anime market and its particular consumers, to collect information on the industry and to keep up to date with changing trends in the anime market, rather than having to deal with DVD and CD market in general. In addition, an anime label also helps create a brand image.
However, maintaining such an anime label in that manner involves a lot of expense. Not a few distributors have dissolved their anime labels for budgetary or staffing reasons. In that situation, distribution is then contracted out to a major sales agency or record company, in which case the sales agent/record company will then be the company which makes the DVD or CD. For example, King Records distributes the CDs which Lantis releases. There are many such cases, and this method of distribution is expected to increase. Some companies like KSS Hanbai (KSS Distribution) have their own distribution channels, but are also releasing goods through major sales agencies.
Below are some distributors, their labels, and sales agency relationships in relation to anime DVDs and CDs. Note that the sales agency relationships are generalisations only. There'll be occasions where different contractual relationships are worked out. For example, Lantis sometimes distributes through Geneon Entertainment (as in the case of the Maria-sama ga Miteru CDs). This isn't a complete list either (Geneon also distributes Movic's Frontier Works label etc; BMG, Universal and Warner also release anime-related CDs etc):
Source: Animation Grand Prix magazine (published by Shufunotomo Infos Jouhou Sha).
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