The anime and manga publisher enters the subscription online streaming service on game consoles, promising a studio agnostic approach in the U.s. and Canada. So what might this mean for other streaming services that offer anime?
While console specifics or a launch window weren’t in the initial announcement (we’ve followed up for more details), VIZ’s planned streaming service Neon Alley will be a $6.99 a month subscription, subsidized by limited advertising, featuring not only VIZ’s extensive library of titles, but those of other unannounced studios. Content streamed through Neon Alley will be in HD (where available), uncut, and dubbed in English. VIZ promises a host of English-language premieres of series like Tiger & Bunny and InuYasha: The Final Act.
This, in addition to original programming featuring news and behind-the-scenes access.
Theoretically, this will follow the Hulu/Netflix model of a steady rollout across platforms (I’d imagine the 360 and PS3 being in the lead with the Vita, 3DS, iPhone/iPad and Wii U to follow).
And I’m wondering if Neon Alley will follow the Hulu/Netflix lead in another way: could we the anime content that’s currently available on both of those services get pulled for Neon Alley exclusivity? There’s precedent. When the Criterion Collection entered into an agreement with Hulu, its catalog was pulled from Netflix’s streaming service. Likewise, series like Sony-owned Community are only available through Hulu for streaming.
Right now, there’s a healthy catalog of VIZ content streaming through both services and there was nothing in the initial release to indicate that they would begin pulling anything from Hulu or Netflix anytime soon (you can still find it all on both services now). But we’ll keep watching as more news develops here.
You can find out more about Neon Alley on its site.