Netflix recently went on record saying they were going to be putting a lot of money towards licensing and creating anime. They also followed that up by raising rates for all but their most basic service, so it seems that more content requires more money. Amazon is also aware of this, but instead of raising rates for all customers, they charge you an extra $4.99 a month for their ‘channel’, Anime Strike.
While on the surface $4.99 doesn’t seem like a lot for a streaming service that supposedly has more than 1000 series on it service, but you can only get Anime Strike if you have a Prime account. Which is $99 a year, so $8.25 a month, but that includes a lot more than just streaming TV. Anyway, Anime Strike plus Prime works out to $13.24 a month plus tax. Which makes it a pretty expensive compared to other services. Though to be far, most people already have a Prime subscription, and unlike the base Prime membership you can add and drop Strike at will, so if there is a series you want to see that you can watch it in a month you can cancel Anime Strike after you are done.
While it makes sense on the surface to charge people who want to watch niche programing more than people who don’t, I am just not sure it will pay off. With all the services people are having to pay for now, I just don’t see that many people excited to spend another $5 on top of something they are already paying for. In the end it will come down to content.
Amazon got me to try Anime Strike with their free trial because they were the only place that had ‘Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side’, but they didn’t have enough to keep me past the seven day trail. This will be a problem for Amazon. If they can’t get people to pay for its anime channel, than they will not have enough money to get more anime to keep up with Netflix, Hulu and Crunchy Roll.
It is just interesting to see Amazon going about this differently than everyone else, and I am not sure it is the right path to take. We will see, I may end up spending an extra $4.99 month if they end up with the only place to get the content I want, so far that is not the case.