I opened my Inbox to find this email from Neon Alley:
In case you missed it . . .
We wanted to email our members directly about our exciting announcement from earlier today:
On April 1st, we are taking a BOLD new step into the future of Neon Alley!
From day one, our mission has been to bring you, the fans of dubbed anime, an awesome and legal way to get the best and latest dubs while exposing you to great series you may never have seen before. From the latest episodes of Naruto Shippuden to new series that have debuted on Neon Alley, like Tiger & Bunny and Zetman, we’ve worked hard to get you the latest and greatest.
IT WILL BE FREE!
U.S. fans will be able to catch a wide variety of brand new subtitled, simulcast, and premiere dubbed anime, as well as classic content distributed and/or licensed by VIZ Media, for FREE at www.NeonAlley.com. The site will also become the new home for all FREE streaming anime content previously available on VIZAnime.com, including first-run subtitled simulcasts for hit series such as Naruto Shippuden.
The number one request we have had from you, our members, is to expand Neon Alley’s availability to even more devices. Now, with a subscription to Hulu Plus, you will be able to access Neon Alley across the widest array of devices EVER including PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii, Roku, Chromecast, and a multitude of additional mobile devices that already support the Hulu Plus App. (Canadian members- just sit tight! We will release additional news on Neon Alley availability for Canadian users in the near future.)
Members who have already pre-paid for subscriptions extending beyond March 31, 2014, you will be contacted during the month of February so that we can issue you a refund for the portion of your membership which would occur after we make the transition to being free! We have also updated our FAQ section on NeonAlley.com to answer some refund and transition related questions.
… currently paying members will be receiving 2 FREE MONTHS of Hulu Plus so you can try the service and see how awesome it will be to have access to Neon Alley virtually EVERYWHERE. Details of how to get the free 2 month trial will be sent to you prior to April 1st.
Keep an eye out for more from Neon Alley right here in your in-box because our weekly newsletter will remain the place for all the latest news for both the remainder of the current season (with GREAT new episodes of your favorite series still debuting every week!)
Your Pals At Neon Alley
Sounds great and all, right? Well I had some questions that were not answered in the email so I took a look at the Transiton FAQ referenced in the email. This was the one that caught my attention:
Will NeonAlley.com be the ONLY way to watch now? What about gaming consoles?
So now I can watch Neon Alley on more than just my PS3, XBOX 360 and computer?
The way it was worded in the Transition FAQ, Hulu Plus will take over streaming everything handled by the Neon Alley App for the Xbox 360/PS3 through the announced Neon Alley Channel. That’s not “free”, it costs more than Neon Alley Premium and for those of us who decided to use Neon Alley becayse we considererd it a better, legal Anime focused streaming service compared to Hulu Plus and Netflix, this is slap in the face.
I know I’m not the only one who is very angry about this detail (or will be when they find out) being glossed over and I hope I’m not the only one who tells you about it. I’ve used Hulu Plus in the past and it’s been the worst when it comes to Anime-related content. I want to say Netflix is worse but at least with Netflix you get full seasons and not trailers or video clips for upcoming/aired episodes veiled as full episodes.
I would prefer continuing to pay the existing subscription fee to continue using the Neon Alley App on my Xbox 360 and PS3 vs. “free” NA on a PAID service you’re subcontracting to host content. It would also be cool if you make an App for the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita.
I took a peek at Neon Alley’s Facebook page just now and as I thought, ALOT of people are very angry about the news. It’s probably in vain but I can only hope Neon Alley takes the negative feedback to heart and at the very least continues support of the Neon Alley App.