You love watching it, yet it’s not available in your place.
“Due to licensing limitations, this Anime is not available in your region.” That’s the notification that you can get whether you want to watch that Anime show in your country. You pay monthly for your subscription, and that’s what you get as a downside when you find out that your favorite Anime show isn’t really watchable in your country. What’s the catch? Of course, you will find ways to watch it, right? You will end up downloading in torrents instead.
So, what could be the consequential effects when a certain Anime show is region-locked into one or couple of regions only? And the term “Worldwide” is just a coined term used by those Anime licensor giants. Here are some things to find out when an Anime show is region-locked, causing more people to just illegally stream it on an illegal streaming website or to download in torrents.
Licensing Rights and Limitations
Of course, licensing rights is a thing so that in order to protect copyrights and other IPs of that Anime Series. That’s where our subscription fees go. Actually, in my opinion, subscripton fees are divided into many parts, such as licensing fee, company income, and some others, such as on how will that licensing company will last through with the merch sales. There are millions of people who are watching and subscribed to that legal streaming site. So which means, getting more Anime titles can be costly. And then, the licensing of that Anime title is just limited, given that it shall be only up for several months, up to a year. Once their licensing contract has expired, they are going to remove the videos from the streaming platform. That’s how it is! So then, in order for the subscription fee of that Anime streaming website to go cheaper, some licensors are willing to give up that Anime show, just to give way to the newer one.
And now, to the tricky part. How about some Anime shows that are not available in some countries? You had paid your monthly subscription, and yet the Anime that you really wanted to watch is definitely not available in your region. If that happens, what are you going to do? Of course, the ending is that you will download through torrents. For the region-locked Anime, it shall be not totally available in your country, no matter how much money you pay.
Anime Motivation posted and commented at the Quora thread, saying:
Many countries around the world are restricted to a certain number of anime shows to watch on LEGAL platforms, if they have them at all.
This is what creates piracy. It’s mostly a result of fans who can’t watch all the anime they want. Even those who pay will pay for multiple streaming services just to watch anime. And even then they still can’t do it without piracy (if they have the privilege to pay for all of them).
Until this problem is dealt with globally, which is difficult with the varied laws, regional issues, censorship and what not, this will continue to happen.
As mentioned earlier, getting more Anime titles can be expensive or costly. So then, the total number of Anime titles that a licensor does have is just having its fees divided. So, you know now the reasons why subscription fees are expensive, sometimes. And then, in order for their subscription fees to be more cheaper and affordable, they must need to “sacrifice” or to not renew the licensing contract with that Anime show that they handle, in order to give way to the newer ones. That’s the process, isn’t it?
And then, when is the time that people need to illegally download an Anime show? And that is, whenever that Anime title is going away or to be removed soon, since its licensing contract has already expired, or the licensor has no plans in renewing the expired contract at all.
Limited Sales of Anime DVDs and Blu-Rays
Of course, importing an Anime Series Blu-Rays and DVDs can be difficult, at times that they can be expensive or costly when bought overseas. Basically, in my own region, they are not much companies who could import and distribute these Anime shows in a DVD or Blu-Ray. So that’s why, some people could willingly buy them overseas, even if it is bit costly. Sometimes, the lacking of supporting companies are a factor why there are less to no Anime media companies are able to import and license these Anime shows in a Blu-Ray or DVD format. And so, some people don’t want to buy them in expensive prices, so they just illegally download instead.
The prices can be expensive, depending on the quality, freebies, and some other bonuses included. I can really understand that the prices are reasonable. But then, the prices can be cheaper, if some local licensors are willing to import them.
Answer to the Question
And then, going back to the question. Does region-locking of Anime shows really resort people to download in torrents? The answer is YES, definitely.
I got some few Anime shows that I wanted to watch, but it is not viewable nor available in my country. How could I love and support that Anime Series, yet it is totally not available in my country or region to watch?