From a consumer standpoint, Netflix and Amazon get a bad wrap in the anime community. But, when you take a look from a business standpoint, for the anime industry, they’re doing some really good things in the anime streaming marketplace.

In this week’s video, I discussed how Netflix and Amazon don’t understand anime fans or the anime streaming market. It’s apparent that they’re trying to use what they know from streaming western content and applying those strategies with anime. It just won’t work. As some of you pointed out, it’s not fair to discuss the bad points of Netflix and Amazon and not discuss the good points as well.

Amazon and Netflix Making Anime

The video discussed that there is more money being thrown around in the anime streaming space than ever before. The 2016 Anime Industry Report notes that in 2015, streaming revenue for anime 43.7 billion yen, with noted increases over 2014. This is a combined domestic and international, but the report states “investments from overseas will exceed investment from domestic platforms” soon, calling out “Netflix, Amazon and Chinese Internet distributors” as companies that have increased their investments. This figure would also include Crunchyroll, Funimation and AnimeLab.

While these figures are from 2015, it shows that The Association of Japanese Animations noticed an upward trend in the industry as more streaming companies wanted a share of the anime industry pie. Currently, both Netflix and Amazon haven’t sat on any production committees, but Netflix has been involved with the production of Little Witch Academia from very early on, even getting their own producer credit. Netflix noted their press release for Perfect Bones that the company was “excited to work with Production I.G.”, whatever that means. Amazon have announced their own original anime series to be produced by Amazon Japan, which means we’ll see something soon.

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Scum’s Wish is currently on Anime Strike and was their only exclusive simulcast last season

More Money In The Anime Streaming Game

What is does mean though is that currently, anime costs a lot to be licensed. Big shows such as My Hero Academia are as much as 4x more per episode to license than they would be in 2012 for certain territories, with niche shows being two or three times more. This was, most likely, one factor in the Funimation and Crunchyroll partnership.

While more money going into the anime ecosystem can seem like a great thing, this money isn’t going to animators. This money is currently going into the production committee, which distributes revenue between committee members, based on the contracts. If the studio is a part of the production committee, they could be able to make dividends on a show, but this isn’t the case sometimes.

Offline Anime Streaming From Competition

Competition is always a good thing. Having more companies around vying for your eyeballs, or wanting to license a show means progress can be achieved in the anime streaming space. When Funimation and Crunchyroll partnered up, people were worried that they could create a monopoly of anime streaming. But currently the partnership, at least in my eyes, has been nothing short of wonderful for the consumer. Though both companies have been lacking in some areas.

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Blame will be streaming worldwide on Netflix this month!

Crunchyroll infamous had issues with the quality of its video streams. Crunchyroll reverted these changes and said that “to keep up with our growing audience and the many ways people are consuming anime, we’ve been working on a new infrastructure to better support the viewing experience”. They went on and said that their new changes were in line with what Netflix were doing with video encoding. Netflix has the larger subscriber base and better infrastructure. Crunchyroll has to catch up if it wants to scale up to that level.

It’s not only back end, the front end needs to be worked on. Amazon announced a few days ago that it was allowing offline streaming within Anime Strike. This was already a feature of Amazon Prime Video. This is on the back of Netflix already allowing offline streaming for some of its catalogue. Offline streaming is a great way to watch shows on a plane, train and automobile, and something I used a lot when I was in Japan to catch up on The Crown and Terrace House. Take that Netflix not allowing us to watch Terrace House: Aloha State in Australia! Anime streaming platforms have lacked this feature, but Crunchyroll announced that it’s working on it in response to the announcement from Amazon.

More competition breeds more features, and that’s great for everyone!


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Posted by Daryl Harding

A 20-something who has nothing better to do than watch anime, talk about anime, and play with my totally not sexual anime figurines.

One Comment

  1. *I’m going to leave my comment for your video here, seeing as I watched it here*

    I think the fact that PrimeVideo.com doesn’t have channels, well that puts Amazon is in a better place for global anime fans. Sure one still has to buy their service a full year at a time, but there isn’t the double paywall.

    But Amazon is having major issues with anime(I assume it’s just anime, as I haven’t noticed any issues with the live action stuff) on PrimeVideo.com. Last season they had episodes being days to a week late, and subtitles missing when an episode launched or earlier episodes having their subs go randomly missing. Some of those missing subtitles issues took weeks to months to be fixed(two early 2000’s shows haven’t even been fully fixed yet). The techs for the site kept telling me there was no issues, but other people outside of Canada were able to reproduce the same things I was seeing. After about a month of telling me there were no issues, I took bugging their It took me publicly messaging their support account on twitter, that got them to admitted there was issues. It took nearly the full spring season to get the issues with Onihei and Scum’s Wish to get fixed.

    For this season, subtitles have been fine, but upload dates are still being missed have gotten worse. Rage of Bahamut S2 and Re:Creators were having issues, but it seems to have been fixed with this weeks episodes(hopefully it continues). The Sentai shows have it a lot worse, they are taking around 4 weeks to get updated. When Sentai was asked about this in late April, they responded with “We had no idea this was going on and that we will have Amazon look into it”. I think it’s time to bug them again, as it’s almost June and things still aren’t fixed.

    Amazon also has another major issue/flaw with how they manage PrimeVideo.com. I was told by the Amazon techs that Amazon proper thinks of them as a separate division from .com and .uk, so if there are any material issues, they can’t ask other parts of Amazon for working versions of sad materials. They need to actually go back to the license holders and request the material again, and we all know how so Japanese licensors can be with providing materials in a timely manner.

    *Now to comment on the article itself*

    I haven’t been a fan of the Funiroll partnership. I don’t like Crunchyroll’s player and how big their font size is. I’ve always like Funimation’s fonts a lot more, but mind you those fonts are now gone with their new broke site and iffy partnered HTML5 player(is it possible for Funimation to do a re-launch that works? They are 3 for 3 on failed re-launches). But I can at least resize the fronts for their new player, as they have font options unlike Crunchyroll. I still only watch AoT, DB Super, and One Piece on Funimation, as I think it’s still an improvement over Crunchyroll’s player.

    It’s cool to see that the Anime Strike people will be able to download anime, those of us on PrimeVideo.com have had that feature since it launched. It’s nice to see them add more features to Anime Strike.

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