While I feel we should not be needing to have another conversation like this one, I am sad to admit that we have to. Having the luck to have work within the anime streaming industry now for half a year now, I have had the immense privilege to learn about how streaming sites better function and what goes on with advertisements and why they absolutely make a difference to the people that work for these companies and to how they are able to pay for the content that they stream to users all over the globe. It is frankly awe-inspiring, confusing and essential if we are to see anime streaming content grow and reach out. Granted this is not just an issue within the anime industry. It is an issues in the gaming industry and the movie industry; industries in which we spend our day to day lives enjoying and clamoring after day in and day out. It is no wonder why we see increasingly online required games, stricter security within movie releases and stricter DRM being instituted within game retailers (Primarily online distributors i.e. Steam) and developers.
“Kausus! What about it? I shouldn’t have to pay for something that I love!” is a line that I have heard time after time again and I am sorry to burst your bubble; nothing in life is free. I grew up within a low income family who moved from trailer home to apartments, to rental houses, to my grandparents housing and then into a step family’s home. I had television and I had the chance to enjoy what anime aired on that channel. I didn’t care that I had to sit through commercials. I was happy just to be able to enjoy what I had access to; even if we had to pay outrageous pricing for our T.V. service. The simple fact that I had access to this medium was what got me through the tough days. Now I understand that I while I was poor, I was still better off than most. Most cannot afford T.V. service and most literally live paycheck to paycheck. So I can understand that a 6.95USD subscription is breaking the bank for oh so many, but why is that stopping you from getting a free subscription? That does nothing to your budget and costs you nothing but the time it takes to sign-up and to have to sit through and advertisement. An advertisement that has paid to be there in order to provide you the options of even having a free account.
That is the whole premise behind advertisements on streaming sites! These advertisements go towards helping to pay for the server hosting, the licensing costs and wages, but they also go into making sure that you can have a free account without needing to pay for anything whatsoever. Much like when an online multiplayer game has a free account option but also has a non-mandatory subscription option like Star Wars The Old Republic. You can play the entirety of the game free, but you do end up with labeled restrictions. Subscription costs on MMO’s are outlandish and I have a hard time swallowing a 14.99USD bill per month for a game that I may tire of in a few months. Anime subscriptions on the other hand are less intrusive. The free accounts give you all the access you could want with only advertisements adding to the video watching experience. The subscription service for anime streaming sites do have added benefits in the tune of earlier access to streams and usually in store discounts for the respective site. It is absolutely not a requirement and as such having to sit through an advertisement is a small price to pay for free; heck you don’t even pay for anything! Sure you have to wait a week per episode released on Crunchyroll, but you will always get that anime for free. Pirating your anime only hurts the show you love and the services that work hard to bring you them dubbed or professionally subtitled.
We need to end the harsh outlook that we have on advertisements as without them we wouldn’t even have the free options that we do nor would we have many companies around that do the work of providing professional grade licensing services. While advertisements are not solely responsible for funding, they do go a long way in helping. These sort of advertisements are also used by bloggers like Arria Cross and myself to help give our sites a bit of extra funding so that we are better able to cover costs for hosting our websites. However while we don’t even charge a single dime, creators like us are met with hostility towards the advertisements that we have. I cannot imagine a time where viewers have been so hostile towards the simple act of having to watch an advertisement that does nothing to affect their lives. So next time you lash out in hostility towards advertisements, please take the time to consider why they are showing advertisements. While this may seem over stated and stressed, it is important to understand that what we do in the terms of illegal means has rippling effects. That is why we give out what free two day guest passes we have through Crunchyroll and it is also a reason as to why we are such crusaders in doing things the legal way.
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