Like HBO Max did in 2021, Netflix launched the advertisement-based program in November. However, with a lower cost, this is the streaming service’s method to attract more customers to offset the decrease in subscribers early in the year. This alone is significant in light of Netflix’s previous statements about the possibility of introducing ads to its streaming service; however, the new plan’s introduction could have unintended implications for the streaming service’s anime collection.
In the past, The Japan Times revealed that Japan’s broadcasting company NHK (Nippon Housou Kyoukai) demanded that Netflix take 22 anime shows previously broadcast on NHK from its catalog, including ads-free plans.
This results from NHK’s guidelines for internet-based services: It does not distribute content if viewers believe that the network is directly recommending a particular product. In addition, NHK was allegedly misled about precisely what the Basic with Ads package was. Although the network initially endorsed that its shows would be included, NHK claims that Netflix only explained the plan’s intention shortly before its launch.
In a statement to The Japan Times, Netflix has since removed ads from NHK shows. The shows that are currently or in the past airing on NHK on Netflix comprise Vinland Saga, To Your Eternity, and Attack on Titan. For those with multiple streaming options, here’s an opportunity to rejoice: Attack on Titan is available on Hulu, and Vinland’s upcoming season is scheduled to premiere on Crunchyroll in January 2023. Therefore, its first season might be able to switch.
There is a chance that Netflix being forced to drop more than two dozen anime shows is certainly an unfortunate setback for the company, which has been adding new anime to its catalog often over the past few years. Moreover, given how popular anime has become throughout the decades and how bizarre the streaming right are sometimes for specific shows, other services are likely to take over the affected shows and their fanbases specifically, giving another boost to the number of subscribers on Netflix.