AxoArt is a community and platform for nerd culture; it’s a place for anime, fan artists and fans to share, consume, and connect over art, fanfiction, and comics.
Victoria’s motto is, “I enjoy building things and finding creative ways to solve problems. If I take on a project, I see it through to success.” Victoria successfully led a human rights campaign for the return of her father from international limbo in China, starting an online petition that drew 60,000 signatures, and attracting international press. While working for Tapastic, a startup platform for webcomics, Victoria conducted market research on the American webcomic market and used her findings to create content to market the website, generating over 50,000 Facebook shares in three months and attracting the most traffic for 7 months. (tapastic.com) (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/17/victoria-hu-dad-china_n_2896301.html) (https://www.facebook.com/Free.DrHu).
Joshua Wu will be responsible for the technological development of the product. His motto is, “I can’t sleep unless all bugs are fixed.” He has previously stayed up until 7 am to fix bugs. He has worked on a few website development projects in the past, such as website optimization for the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens and Green Tea Graffiti (what did he actually do on the projects? are they live? include links if they are), and has led a team of UC students on an empowerment program for high school students in Japan. Although young, he is the exact demographic group that we are trying to reach.
We estimate that we could make $610 million annually. We plan to monetize through charging monthly fees for optional premium memberships that will give the artist several benefits that are free for us to implement, such as the ability to enhance their artist profile page. For artists, if we charge $30 annually and have 130,000 premium subscribers, that would result in a little under $4 million per year. We also plan to merchandise and implement virtual currency, and project $6 million in earnings from that. Another additional revenue source that we do not plan on relying on in early stages is ad revenue. However, assuming there are 200 million fans who consume anime, comics, or television fanwork, 200 mill uniques * $3 per year in ad revenue = 600 million in potential ad revenue.
We estimate the fan community to be worth 4.6 billion. The anime and fan community encompasses many diverse art styles and fandoms, including television shows and movies. (Example: http://fiz-x.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/virtuoso_by_alicexz-d48qgre.jpg Sherlock fanart, by Alicexz)
The anime community is worth a total of 2.2 billion (http://facweb.cs.depaul.edu/noriko/JapanTrip08/JETRO-market_info_anime.pdf).
2.2 billion anime industry + 120 million convention spending + 2.1 billion for superhero/comic franchises within the U.S. for English-speaking limitation purposes (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=avengers.htm) + 172 mill (an average of 8.7 million for the most popular geek television shows x 20 top television shows with such fandoms).
There is a growing market. Convention attendance for the top ten anime cons in the U.S. has grown by 15% in the last 10 years, with tables selling out in minutes, while new conventions arise consistently to meet the demand. Conventions goers spend a total of $120 million attending the U.S.’s largest conventions (top 10 anime conventions and Comic-Con), which are expanding annually.
No other platform specifically targets fanart/fanfiction. Currently anime artists and fans are resorting to deviantArt, tumblr, 4chan, and pixiv as places to congregate and share their work, even though these platforms were not specifically built for them. We plan to build a platform that will specifically aim to satisfy their needs, combining favorite features from other platforms that anime artists enjoy, along with a system that maximizes exposure and consumption of their work. For example, we plan to implement the infinite scrolling feed for users to follow their favorited artists’ updates, and give artists the option to share favorited pieces to audiences. We will also implement fanfiction and comic options for fans to express their creativity in other ways and optimize on attracting other types of fans. Additionally, dA has a relatively scattered search mechanism that makes it difficult to find good quality pieces of what users want to see; we believe we can make searching for top quality fandoms a better experience for the user.
We don’t have competitors that do exactly what we do. There is no other platform that specifically targets fandoms and fanart. Although deviantArt holds a monopoly over the art sharing industry, it does not focus on the anime community, nor will it ever.
All of the other sites do not hold enough traction to be considered competition because of their poor execution (example: sheezyart.com, storm-artists.com, artwanted.com, etc.). Although Anipan is our competitor because it targets the same market niche, it has dropped from the radar because it has lost the trust of the community due to several months of severe bugs and lack of communication from the dev team; we will never lose communication with our community, even if we experience technical difficulties. Pixiv is another platform that has a large audience of Japanese-speaking users, so it does not compete directly with our platform (we target only English-speaking countries).
For fanfiction, fanfiction.net, which used to be extremely popular for the fanfiction community, recently started to weed out pieces by the community that it deemed inappropriate, displacing tens of millions of readers. As a result, the community created Archive of Our Own, with 13,109 fandoms and 840,390 works up to date. They have an entrenched and passionate community and we regard them as our competition in terms of fanfiction; however, our main focus is art, and we offer the ability to submit fanfiction alongside fanart or comics, which is an innovative new feature. We differentiate AxoArt fanfiction because we offer the option to link pieces and facilitate artist-writer collaboration.