Whilst watching the Wannabe Fansubs version of School Rumble Ni Gakki, I noticed an “ad” for the group. After the episode, a short video promoting the Wannabe Fansubs website and forums showed up. While this particular plug didn’t feel obtrusive at all to me, it did make me wonder about the possibility for fansub groups to stick other ads in their work.
Certainly the time and money it takes to release a fansub is not trivial. I believe most groups get by with generous donations from the anime-viewing community. But what if groups decided to stick ads in their releases? Would you keep watching? I don’t think I’d mind too much, especially if they were necessary for the group to remain operational.
I know it’s a touchy subject, and I’m certainly not suggesting anime fansubs actually start having ads. I think it’s an interesting topic ethics-wise, and marketing-wise. Here’s my thoughts:
Reasons that fansubs will eventually have ads:
- Viewers really won’t mind (and can fast forward them anyway)
- Subbers need the money to create subs (mostly to pay translators)
Reasons that fansubs will never have ads:
- Viewers would really mind
- Fansubs are illegal anyway; this would increase tensions between anime companies and fansub groups even more!
- No legitimate company would advertise on an anime fansub
Like I said, this is totally a “what if” situation I’m proposing. I have a feeling that the backlash associated with a fansub group putting ads in their release would be monumental. I just wanted to know what other people thought of the idea. I’d also like to note that this is in no way an attack at Wannabe Fansubs. In fact, I really dig their work. Go to wannabefansubs.net and their forums!