Sort of continuing on with our discussion about Where Is Season 2 and Which Service Do I Choose, I wanted to touch a bit more on the details of why I am super supportive of paying for the anime that I watch and my views on the industry as a whole. Some details where brought up in our previous Discussion by the ever awesome MadokaSwagica and I felt like I could have touched upon things a bit better than I previously had done in last wees article. First I want to tackle the why I pay for what I pay for. May reasons may differ from a vast majority of individuals out there and that’s fine. I’m not casting judgement or reporting you to the otaku/weebo police, just giving my worry wart reasons.
I pay for what I watch simply because I believe that I can at least give some financial input to the shows that I love and the services that I use. I don’t think I am doing anything morally wrong by supporting services like Crunchyroll or Funimation. It is a hassle and annoyance to have to pay every month, but it is a small price to bay for almost endless content. In a perfect world we would see the money I spend on these services trickle down a pattern. For purposes of a visual, let me give you a theoretical bulletined list that shows how the system SHOULD work…
- Kausus pays Kawaii-Anime-Streaming-Service to watch anime legally.
- Kawaii-Anime-Streaming-Service takes said funds and pays for their license and server hosting.
- Funds that are strategically left are then used to pay staff.
- The funds used for paying license costs, i.e. sent to Bob’s Anime Company, are used to fund the company for the anime they have licensed.
- These funds then go to staff & developer studio, i.e. Jane’s Animation Studio who made said anime, to pay for expenses.
- Then Jane’s Anime Studio pays their employees.
Okay, not a perfect outline but it is a rough trickling down effect. The $6.95 that I paid Crunchyroll is broken up into a predetermined amount of income that is divided among what they have to pay for and expenses. These are often supplemented by selling extra merchandise and branded materials. Now, yes I know $6.95 might roughly mean like $0.10 for the guy/girl who drew a part in a specific anime, once it drains all the way down to the very bottom (Note: Do not take what numbers I am throwing out here as fact, I am hardly a statistician and I would not advise using my example as a standard rate that they get paid for.). This would work in a perfect system, and it does work however, I don’t exactly know what my money is going towards. How do I know all the guys and girls that work at Trigger, are getting their pay from my own input? Simple answer and the one most readily available to us all is that we don’t know. We may be told upfront by a few companies but that doesn’t mean that they will be fully telling us all the details. Even so, this is a governing factor in why I pay for what I watch.
Now, this is not to say that I feel everyone should pay or that I hate free subscriptions. I have recommended Crunchyroll to so many users that do not want to pay. While you have to put up with a few advertisements, Crunchyroll really does not limit you on what you can watch on their website. You are limited in terms of viewing quality but, that really doesn’t bother many too much. If you cannot afford a membership, get a free one. Now, I know that is easy to say when there are less than legal ways to watch the anime with out advertisements but think of it this way. Those ad’s will help pay for what you are watching and will hopefully go towards funding those license costs and in turn, funding the publishers and developers. Sure you will buy the anime eventually but, for reasons stated in my first discussion link above, it hurts them in the long run. For me, I was always raised on the notion that if I wanted something either I find it for an awesome price or I wait till it opens up publicly. That is just the path I walk and I feel that in the long run, by paying for my subscription, it will open the door to me actually buying the box set, the figures, the clothing, the blankets, etc…
That being said, I could easily be hounded for supporting a system that many see as broken. It’s not just for anime, it’s for things like Netflix or purchasing a song on iTunes or downloading a program like Camtasia. How do you know that the funds you are sending these companies are getting into artists, developers or independent companies hands? Especially if you handle through a middle man like iTunes or Steam. You really don’t know how much gets to them, if any at all. It frankly is the world that we live in. Does it then make illegally downloading these things more just? Not at all. Does this all mean that I am a bounty of knowledge and a bastion of honor? Not at all. These are just my personal views on the matter and nothing more. I feel that I am doing more good by faithfully trusting in companies like, Crunchyroll, to share a bit of that funding with the companies that continue to make such amazing anime. I want to feel like I am making a financial difference to these companies and that I am actively contributing to the anime industry. Though, these types of things aren’t just limited to streaming services or music purchases. Look at the program I am trying to be a part of. Patreon is literally a site that gives people to chance to make money from people who put into their products or services. You take a very risky choice in moving to support someone. Why? Well, it hearkens back to what i just said earlier. How do you know what you are putting towards something, is what those funds are actually being used for? Simply you don’t. But if they are running a give away or running those live streams they promised then, they are at least utilizing the funding the way they intended it to be used yes? I know this does me a big discredit since, I am running a Patreon for our site and expecting you to support us further.
Why I support streaming services that you subscribe to and put your own money into, is because I feel like I will be having a very direct and personal influence into that said area I want to help. I may never know how those funds are being used but, I feel like I am at least making a right choice in the matter. If I couldn’t afford a subscription, then I probably would be telling you all how amazing Crunchyroll’s free service is! I still am though, as it is a very awesome option for those who don’t have to cash on hand to input to an active subscription. I really hope this doesn’t rub off wrong on anyone. This is a subject that I know has a lot of unknown quantities to itself and is always something of an objective nature but, never the less it makes for some awesome content. Are there any services that you all support and feel like you are actively helping push further along? Do you use free services like Crunchyroll? Feel free to comment below and give us a shout on our twitter page!