Whenever it’s announced that an anime is going to be streaming on Netflix, I always see anime fans on social media complain: “now I have to wait forever for <insert show> to come out,” or “Netflix is trying to takeover the anime industry.” It is annoying that Netflix will announce several anime titles for their service, then be dead-silent for six months; the majority of the anime community would complain less if Netflix announced a release window for their anime titles. Netflix also wants to have their anime titles dubbed, allowing for a larger audience, but this takes time, leading to vague release dates for their titles. The first complaint is easy to understand, but the second complaint that Netflix is trying to “take over the anime industry” deserves a closer examination.
The real complaint is anime on Netflix is not convenient for me. I don’t want to have to pay for another subscription service to watch my show. It’s frustrating when your favorite shows or media are spread across multiple services. That means more money out of your pocket, but in the long term this is healthy for the anime industry and for the general consumer.
The anime industry is able to gain more income as Funimation, Crunchyroll, Sentai Filmworks, Netflix, and Amazon compete amongst each other to get different anime titles on their respective platforms, allowing for more anime to get produced as more money enters the industry. While it would be convenient for Crunchyroll to have all the shows of every season, a monopoly would be in effect, allowing them to charge anything they want if they had every show on their platform. Competition allows more content to come to west and for prices to be low for the consumer.
Netflix is trying cover every niche to appeal to widest audience possible. From animated programing for young children like the Boss Baby, to documentaries such as Icarus to gain critical acclaim and awards. Netflix is spending 13 billion dollars in order to licence and make all kinds of shows including Anime. Whereas Crunchyroll whose sole focus is anime fans. The fear that Netflix or Amazon is going to take over the anime industry at this point is unfounded.