Apparently, FUNimation announced at Sakura-Con that they’ll begin streaming some of their videos on ANN. Earlier this month, they added a bunch of stuff to Veoh. There was also the recent announcement that they’d be adding a bunch of old TOEI properties to the their own video site and that they’d be adding a bunch of shows from their rival, Viz, to their broadcasting station. And of course, they already have a YouTube channel and Hulu channel with a ton of stuff on both. Oh, and their Playstation Store is now up too, the latest of their various Download-to-Own platforms (the others being their own site, Xbox Live, iTunes, and Amazon Unbox). I might have missed some. Is it just me or is this a bit much?
On one hand, I’m always happy to see FUNimation take the initive and find new ways to get their products to their fans and their customers. On the other hand, it’s starting to feel kind of disorganized. Many of the titles are available across most of the streaming sources — YouTube, Hulu, FUNimation Video, and now ANN — but there still seem to be a number of series that are only available in one place or another; I think the FUNi video site has the most titles, which makes sense, but then I kind of wonder why they bother with everything else? Most video sites are pretty much the same to me; Hulu might have the best quality of the aforementioned, but I find myself using the FUNi site more than anything else because I perceive it to be more beneficial to them.
But they’re obviously finding all of these partnerships worthwhile if they keep on adding more. It’s curious to note then, that they’re still absent from the Crunchyroll chaos. For the DTO stuff, it makes sense that they should spread out as not everyone has Xbox or Playstation or iTunes or use Amazon and all of them use DRM (correct me if I’m wrong; I don’t use any of them). The DRM thing is another debate entirely, but as long as people have far, far too many options for DTO products, FUNimation doesn’t have much of a choice but to go where their customers go, even if they have their own site for it (also DRM’d? Not sure). Is it the same for streaming video?
Some sites work better for some people, and some sites are available to people in different countries. There are dozens of quirks that set each site apart from the others, but the question remains… why? If we can assume that the FUNimation video site works for everyone in their intended audience, why would spread everything out? (And if we can’t assume that, then FUNi should obviously be working to fix that.) Is their primary goal exposure or ad revenue from people bumming around the video sites? If the concern is exposure, why not place trailer videos on the other sites, directing everyone back to their own video site? If the concern is revenue, wouldn’t they make more money when they don’t need to deal with a contract and a middle man? Is that why they’ve avoided Crunchyroll?
Me, I’m obsessive-compulsive and want everything to be orderly. That’s probably the main reason it’s starting to bother me that FUNimation’s putting everything everywhere, but hey, if this is what’s most beneficial to them, then I guess that’s that. On the whole, I hope that eventually this Internet streaming thing starts to simmer down and settle into the status quo and then maybe slowly, everything will become more organized.