There was reason to believe this past week that Oricon has killed the extended ranking exploit we’d been using to estimate sales for titles ranking 101-300 each week. It could have been a glitch, but the fact that both just happened to cut off at a clean 100 seemed too coincidental.

Now I think we can definitively declare their removal a feature, not a bug.
DVD Page 10
BD Page 10

There’s no longer a page 11+ or a “Next” link at all. And the count of discs on page 10 reads “91~100/100件” now, not the 5k/14k BD/DVD had before. Manually typing in the URLs returns a 404. The extended ranking workaround is officially dead.

So it’s back to the pre-12/2014 times where the only data we get is what makes the weekly top 100. I guess I’ll have to start caring about the monthly and yearly rankings again, but those only help for shows that are already selling well. We’re gonna see a whole lot more “BD only ranked once” and “DVD never ranked” discs in our future. And just after we’d dropped the BD extended threshold to cover nearly every BD! =(

There’s been a bunch of changes over the years in how much data is available, but it always shifted in favor of more accessible data. This is the first huge step backwards.

The biggest concern is not just that so much long-tail and low-seller data is going to be missed in the future (which sucks a ton), but also that we’ve once again got all our eggs in one basket as far as getting data beyond the Tuesday prelims goes. I’ve always been worried that the 2ch Biz leaks for the top 100s could dry up at any time, but the extended rankings made that concern almost irrelevant. With the extendeds gone, it’s back to hoping 2ch/urisure continues to come through for us… but either way, ranks 101-300 are kaput.

18 Responses to “RIP Extended Rankings, Dec 2014 – May 2016”

  1. Prima says:

    Your watch is over.

    Any chance you have some time to release one last extended spreadsheet?

  2. kamui says:

    uhmm….i don’t understand

  3. otaaaku♡ says:

    you mean there is not dvd sale any more?

    • something something says:

      There is. But not as much data as we had before. The reports came in two forms previously:

      Preliminary lists (DVD Top 50, BD Top 30)
      Full lists (DVD Top 100, BD Top 100)

      Then we found a loophole on Oricon’s public website for data beyond those and got additional estimates:

      Extended lists (DVD Top 300, BD Top 300)

      Oricon just closed the loophole on the last one, so the extendeds are dead, and we will no longer get 101-300 ranking data. We’re back to where we were before December 2014. (It’s a little more complex than that but that’s the basic gist.)

  4. zoro says:

    is the extended ranking so important?

    • Ejc says:

      Yes, as it was importantly the saving grace for anime that sold too low to make it to the weekly Top 100 BD/DVD lists, but still made it within the weekly Top 300 BD/DVD. Those anime would’ve otherwise been noted as the infamous **,***, meaning sales are too low to be known.

      It also increased some anime’s averages, especially the ones which may have charted continously but were not quite strong enough to make it back into the weekly Top 100 BD/DVD, and it also reduced some of the inflated averages for anime that may have had partial BD or DVD data.

      It is a big loss.

    • something something says:

      It’s most important for low-selling shows, say 3k or below. If you sell a few hundred DVDs and that doesn’t make the Top 100 threshold in a busy week, that could be a significant percentage of your wk1 sales (maybe 10-40% for a typical BD-biased show) left unreported. Just as important is wk2+ data. It can be hard to make the rankings more than once or twice, with all further weeks in the 101-300 range.

      The data here is out of date now but here’s an example of how certain shows were affected as of initial completion of the extended ranking review in early 2015: http://www.someanithing.com/2859. For slightly older shows, when thresholds were very high and you could sell a decent amount of discs without ranking more than once, the extended rankings could more than double known sales sometimes.

      These days we get more data on a weekly basis so it’s rarely as extreme. But the extended rankings accounting for a good 10-15% of a 2-3k selling show’s sales isn’t uncommon. Here’s a few 2015 examples that are pretty typical:

      Gakkou Gurashi! – 2,426 → 2,765 (13.9%)
      Shokugeki no Souma – 1,855 → 2,016 (8.7%)
      Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu – 2,184 → 2,397 (9.8%)
      Houkago no Pleiades – 1,701 → 1,923 (13.1%)
      Durarara!! x2 Ten – 2,211 → 2,451 (10.9%)
      Himouto! Umaru-chan – 3,862 → 4,308 (10.4%, even moderately better selling shows can get a nice boost sometimes)

      The effect is more pronounced if one format (generally DVD) only gets reported via the extended rankings and never makes the Top 100:

      Koufuku Graffiti – 1,279 → 1,650 (29.0%)
      Plastic Memories – 1,563 → 1,977 (26.5%)
      Juuou Mujin no Fafnir – 640 → 882 (37.8%)

      And of course, some shows never make the top 100 at all, and the 101-300 extended data is the only data we ever had for them. I’d much rather see “240” than “0” or “unknown”.

      Many shows selling in the 4k+ range might only get 2-5% of their sales through the extended rankings. As sales go up, the extended rankings become less important, except for releases with long tails that rank in the 101-300 range for a very long time after they fall out of the top 100. Again it’s not typically a huge percentage of total sales, but sometimes it can be noteworthy.

      No individual disc adds a ton of data in a single week (a couple hundred at most), but it adds up over a lot of weeks and a lot of releases. All told the amount of sales that we know about purely because of extended ranking estimates, is well over a million additional discs even with the most conservative estimates. It could be easily two million or more.

      • hpulley says:

        So our currently known lowest selling show will likely remain so for a long time or forever. We’ll probably never see the sales of a sub-100 unit disc again. Too bad, I was looking forward to the sales of Endride…

        • something something says:

          Yep, we’ve never seen a sub-100 disc Top 100 in the weeklies. And never will, unless they expand the weekly 100 to a 200 or so…

  5. Lidieth says:

    Why would you do that Oricon? ;_; but I guess that’ll make you less work.
    Well, at least they lived long enough to retrieve more accurate numbers for older shows released when Oricon data was a lot worse than nowadays.

  6. AnimePhoenix says:

    This sucks. This sucks so much. The extended rankings were so helpful. ;_; Whyyyy.

    • hpulley says:

      Because they were giving them away for free. Oricon is a business, not a charity. It was great while it lasted but they want to make money and that is a good thing in fact. If they make no money and go out of business then what will we have? Just Stalker rankings? I’m sure something else pop up to take over but better or worse is impossible to say.

  7. NBA says:

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