Community beta testing and better communitcation
Just a few suggestions for you guys.
Start a community beta testing group to test your apps and give feedback before releasing them. This would allow you to test different setups and devices prior to roll out which would catch a lot more bugs before they get into the hands of your customers. Let's face it the current roll out of funimation now is for the most part a total failure.
Better communication with your customers. If you look at your forums, Facebook page and twitter it's not hard to tell that people are pissed, but for the most part funimation has been darn near completely silent. A simple weekly update posted to these pages on what the status of the problems are with maybe a time table to when it will be resolved would do a lot to put your customers at ease. It's infuriating to see people posting about the multitude of issues they are having and to be either ignored or told to put in a ticket.
@rhcsavage21 Your missing the main point... They don't care about their Streaming customers. They make more money selling DVDs, BD , and Merchandise that a bunch of upset people that pay less to stream their content is nothing.
Believe me, I have ranted and raved about the same issues you talk about, and obviously I agree with both. However, they don't see it the same way we do. They figure it doesn't matter, they are the biggest game in town, so we will keep paying to stream, and not cause any serious issues for them. They don't realize how wrong they are, but not enough people are doing what they should so they just point and laugh at the ranting monkeys.
But hey, seriously, good luck getting them to change their minds to do the right thing and making them care.
I have over a decade of alpha and beta testing done for everything from small programs to top games. With all my experience in the field of testing this is my opinion on how you can best proceed to ensure that the catastrophe of the updates/new apps doesn't happen again.
Having a community of beta testers for new apps/updates would serve you better than just what seems to be the small in house QA department you have now. Without a large QA department that regularly uses the apps you will without a doubt run into major issues with the release of any large update/new app. If you can't afford to employ a large QA group having a volunteer test group is the best option having both is even better. That's why almost every major game and software development company has a beta test group (closed or open) some even hire outside companies to do testing.
To me most if not all of the issues being reported not just with the apps but the website as well could have been solved with just a few weeks of proper beta testing from just a portion of the community here. The community here has shown that it genuinely wants to help to ensure funimation puts out the best and you should take advantage of that.
I want more than anything to see funimation succeed so I would be more than willing to help with testing. I would even be willing to help work on the apps for free and I have the programming/debugging experience to do so.
While you may think streaming isnt a big revenue thing you might want to consider the following. Funimation's streaming serves is constant revenue stream not to mention more than likely a large one. Especially now with many people cutting out cable TV and relying on streaming services it would be silly to think that it's not as profitable or going to become more so in the future. While they probably make a lot on video sales I would wager that many of the customers who buy the box sets are also subscribers and that having a good streaming service encourages people to buy more then they would otherwise. I know this is the case for me. It also wouldn't make sense to continue to update and add more platforms to stream from if it wasn't something that generated a good amount of revenue.
@valyn76 Before I drop down $1000 or so on DVDs i need to stream them first and make sure the show is worth the money spent!
@fatman123 And? How is that working out for you or most of the community of angry monkeys, including myself?
Not sure why you directed the statement at me, I am pointing out how they view streaming as not as important as the ones that drop lots of money for the physical copies, and explaining why that is. $60 a year is maybe close to 2 physical seasons, or one that they decided to split in to two.
It should have been obvious when they started this new FunimationNow rebrand and were rolling out pre beta apps that never got fixed before the new website release.
But, you know..
@rhcsavage21 Thank you for making these points. You completely read my mind and I was going to post something just like this on the forums. Now the question is will any staff look at your post and decide to do the right thing and comment somewhere on this site about resolving issues and the timelines it might take? I can't believe they have been completely silent about all this. They should be begging their customers for forgiveness for this terrible new site. I have already canceled my monthly subscriptions, but I would love to resubscribe again when things get better (when ever that may be).
@jesse206 i originally posted it on Facebook and they recommended posting it here as well. i also noticed that a new ticket was created after they responded to my post so i am hopeful. i am still subscribed as i pay by the year instead of by the month and want nothing more then to see them succeed and fix all these problems but the silence is starting to make me lose hope. problems i reported weeks or months ago have not been resolved, such as the blog log out loop. the roku app has not updated once since the new app was originally released, i would at least expect some bug fixes to come through every few weeks to address the major issues with it. luckily i have crunchyroll to tide me over until things are fixed but i miss watching dubs.
so i will put this bluntly to you dear funimation. you guys are struggling, we can see that and we want to help. stop being silent and put us to work or at least tell us what the hell is going on.
I disagree that Funimation doesn't care about their streaming customers. Obviously they do care, otherwise Doubletalk wouldn't be based around newly released-to-stream episodes and instead would be reviews/summaries of recently released Blueray sets.
Also, I seemed to recall it being mentioned on Doubletalk that Japanese producers were very interested in Funimation's streaming data : what are people watching, what's popular, what isn't...
I'm looking forward to more interaction on social media however.