Funimation's online offerings are unacceptable for 2014
FIrst off, i want to say this is not a hater post. In fact this is my first post entirely so perhaps i should hold off but i was told by the Twitter rep to come here to express my concerns. But first, let me say hello to everyone. I also want to say that i love Funi as a company. I have never had issues with a Funi Blu-Ray or DVD set and i love thier dub work. I also am grateful they stepped in when Geneon went down and saved a lot of shows that might have fallen by the road side. Now with that being said, i would like to express my issues with thier online and mobile offerings.
First off, let's focus on the technical side of things. The main issue i have is buffering. It is everywhere. It seems no matter what show i try i see buffering every few minutes. It doesn't matter what show i watch, or if i'm on my pc or the Xbox app. I first noticed the issue when i was getting through Attack On Titan. Now i know it's a popular show and a recent one. But seeing constant buffering on every episode seems a little extreme. So right before i typed this i decided to pick up on Fairy Tail at episode 49, where Netflix ended. Same thing. Now i know these are both popular shows but i can't imagine there is enough demand for early Fairy Tail viewing to completely kill the servers. I am going to try other shows but i don't see any reason to think it's going to be any different.
The second item is the mobile app. First off, having a ad free paid app and a free ad app in 2014 is just not acceptable for an organizing providing an online content service. Funimation needs to understand that at the $8 price point they're not just competing with Crunchyroll or fansubs. They are also going against Netflix, Hulu and Amazon who have all developed decent free apps as part of their mobile strategy. I have never heard of Phunware, the developer for Funi's mobile app and they're not doing them any favors. The app also has bugs, the big one being the app crashing when you try to load another page of episodes and when it comes back up you have to log back into your account. Funi should try to get in touch with whoever did Netflix's app or try to develop their own because this bug in particular makes the app unusable if you're an Elite member.
Those are the two big ones. Getting a next episode button on the Xbox app would be great. I can't imaging what it's like to try to get from episode one to say 300 on a long running series like One Piece. I found it a pain having to scroll all the way over to just 48 on Fairy Tail.
That's really all i have. I just want to end by saying i am going to do one month of the service after my free trial ends and see how it goes. I just hope Funimation realizes that consumer's who want to buy anime legit have a number of options. I could buy Fairy Tail off Xbox Marketplace but then Funi loses some of the money to Microsoft. Same with Apple on Itunes. I want to support Funi directly so they keep thier huge library and dubbed episodes available online. I just hope they will look into making changes to make the service what an online content provider should be in 2014. Thank you for reading this and have a good evening.
I've only rarely encountered any serious buffering issues, to be honest. As for the (iOS) app, I agree with you. It needs a lot of work, and who knows if and when it'll get done? I've given up wondering and asking about it, and just enjoy watching the shows I want to watch. It is true that most or all of these shows are available elsewhere, i.e. iTunes, but of course it would be significantly more expensive to replicate your queue this way. I only buy from iTunes when the series in question isn't available elsewhere, or if it's a show that I want to have 'forever'.
Funi should try to get in touch with whoever did Netflix's app or try to develop their own because this bug in particular makes the app unusable if you're an Elite member.
Netflix develops their own apps in house. They can easily afford to, since they are a behemoth compared to the likes of Funimation or Crunchyroll. In terms of paid subscribers, they even dwarf Hulu Plus, which itself easily has more paid subscribers than Funimation and CR rolled together and multiplied several times (and no, I'm not exaggerating at all).