Post Reply Humble bundle -inspired 'Pay-per-view' anime service?
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Posted 8/13/17 , edited 8/13/17
Apologies if this sounds like a pipe dream or if it has been suggested before, but I thought of this after reading/listening to some of the ongoing debate on the topic of "most ethical way to consume anime in the West". (and I certainly don't claim that my idea is even terribly original or that it exists in a vacuum either.)

I know this would require even more direct collaboration with the industry overseas (something that isn't that easy to set up, i know, again.) but I sort of think, what if I don't really want physical releases and merchandise, but still want a way to support the studios making the anime I like? And what is going to be the funding model of anime in the future when anything physical continues to become harder and harder to sell?

Now, what if I we had a pay-per-view service that offered a way to donate money right to the studios themselves? You could choose to pay a certain amount of your own liking (similar to Humble Bundle) after watching the series (or at any point if you feel that this episode in particular made your day) and it could be something as small as a dollar. Again, a dollar isn't much, but this is the digital age so you have to compare digital streaming to other digital services. How much does 13 youtube views make? Less than a dollar? You bet.
If such an option was available for me, I at least would put in money for everything I had personally enjoyed that season, if I could convince myself that this will help the actual studio to make more great anime. I'm not suggesting that this kind of a service could fund entire anime series on its own, nor am i trying to condemn merchandise and physical releases either, I'm simply implying that in the ideal situation, this could be a minimal effort, minimal expense -source for extra income. To quote one man, if there is a service that offers what people want, the service will make some money. Not all of the money, bu still some money.

So, this here would be an open question of sorts, would people even use a service like this? If there is enough of an interest, then perhaps a pilot project with a studio and an anime could be set up and so on, so forth, moving on from there if that works out.
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Posted 8/13/17 , edited 8/13/17
The big drawback of this suggestion is that the mass-market shows will get the bulk of any funding and the more unusual or experimental shows will receive little. That happens to an extent with the current pricing models but the subscription based system at least allows some discretion for investment to try something new (even if it isn't likely to be a mass-market hit).
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Posted 8/13/17 , edited 8/13/17
TBH I much prefer having a hole catalog for a set fee IMO.
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Posted 8/13/17 , edited 8/13/17
Um, it already exists. It's called Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, Netflix, etc. Pick and choose which services you subscribe to, a la carte. HBO, Showtime, all or most of them now have standalone channels for Roku and other devices.

The various streaming services negotiate with the content providers and your subscription dollars support the industry. It's so easy. Maybe I missed something?
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Posted 8/13/17 , edited 8/13/17

sena3927 wrote:
Maybe I missed something?


This suggestion has three key differences to those services:

1) It is pay per view as opposed to subscription. If you watch 5 episodes of Naruto and 3 episodes of Attack On Titan you get charged for watching 8 shows and the studios get compensated accordingly. If you don't watch any Non Non Biyori then you aren't charged and none of your money goes to that studio. The subscription model charges you a flat fee for everything. For myself, I would watch every anime if I had enough time so a flat subscription fee for the whole catalogue makes sense.

2) The ability to pay more to watch a show than the flat fee-per-view. To me this sounds similar to offering a tip at a restaurant. Some people might like it but I don't think it would catch on in the mass market, so the few generous people would be subsidising lower default fees for other viewers.

3) The viewer has more control in which studios get the reinvestment money as it is tied directly to the number of views. In the current system the streaming services will reinvest by buying licences or directly commissioning shows from whichever studio they wish; in the proposed system they lose that control. Personally I don't think that is a good idea, as I explained above.
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Posted 8/14/17 , edited 8/14/17

MidoriNoTora wrote:


sena3927 wrote:
Maybe I missed something?


This suggestion has three key differences to those services:

1) It is pay per view as opposed to subscription. If you watch 5 episodes of Naruto and 3 episodes of Attack On Titan you get charged for watching 8 shows and the studios get compensated accordingly. If you don't watch any Non Non Biyori then you aren't charged and none of your money goes to that studio. The subscription model charges you a flat fee for everything. For myself, I would watch every anime if I had enough time so a flat subscription fee for the whole catalogue makes sense.

2) The ability to pay more to watch a show than the flat fee-per-view. To me this sounds similar to offering a tip at a restaurant. Some people might like it but I don't think it would catch on in the mass market, so the few generous people would be subsidising lower default fees for other viewers.

3) The viewer has more control in which studios get the reinvestment money as it is tied directly to the number of views. In the current system the streaming services will reinvest by buying licences or directly commissioning shows from whichever studio they wish; in the proposed system they lose that control. Personally I don't think that is a good idea, as I explained above.


Seconded to a certain degree, but...

(1) If this was happening at CR, i don't think there would be a reason to completely abolish the flat fee, just add the option to 'tip' studios on top of that. But the main reason I would want this is that I know for a fact that the measly amount I pay to CR every month does next to nothing for the anime industry as a whole, but I have no desire to purchase a duplicate of the same service or some product I don't really need just because I thought a show was halfway nice.

(2) If this was a model for a streaming company starting afresh, then I'd suggest they'd offer the option to watch for free while viewing ads, paying a tiny fee for viewing the entire series ad-free and finally paying the "tip" if you thought it was nice.
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