Now that we have had time to digest the news of Sony acquiring the majority share in Funimation, it’s time to look at the big question people are asking. What does this mean for the anime industry? Some people say it’s good while others disagree. Let’s take a look at why this is good for the industry.
First of all, the acquisition sets the stage for anime streaming to be condensed into one or two services. Anime streaming services are so fragmented right now that it makes it hard to watch every anime available. Funimation and Crunchyroll are the two biggest services out now, with Amazon and other smaller services in the game too. The problem with that is the licenses for the shows are fragmented as well. Funimation and Crunchyroll have most of the licenses out there, but the ones that they don’t then go to different anime services. In order to watch these shows, it requires you to pay another monthly subscription to watch maybe one or two anime. If these services condense down into one or two streaming services, the cost to the viewer would go down in terms of how much someone pays for anime streaming services.
Another reason this acquisition is good is that it can bring better quality anime to viewers. Every season, dozens of anime come out for people to enjoy. The thing is, not all of it is enjoyable. Animation quality can be lacking or writing could be terrible. The working conditions for anime studios are bad and pay is horrible. So you can see where a lack of motivation may produce bad anime. With a company like Sony in the picture, more money can go into the production of anime. More money can mean better animation and better writing. It could also motivate people to pursue anime as a career again in Japan instead of anime studios having to look outside of Japan for labor. A better product means more money for the studios, which in turn can then produce even better anime.
Finally, the acquisition can bring anime to a wider audience. While anime is growing in popularity, not many people have had a lot of exposure to it. While Cartoon Network’s Toonami program block helps bring anime to a wider audience, it is only one day a week, not to mention late at night. With Sony’s acquisition, they have the power to distribute anime through many different channels. From Blu-Ray to Playstation services, Sony has the means to mass distribute Funimation’s catalog far and wide. This means more people will have access to anime than ever before. What could be better?
While it may seem bad, this news can actually help the anime industry. Only time will tell if it does.
Sound off, geeks! What are your thoughts on the Sony acquisition? Let us know in the comments.