I had the chance to interview Eri Maruyama, International Business Development, about the DAISUKI.net online anime streaming service that is based in Japan but targets anime fans living outside of Japan. This interview took place right as the service launched in May 2013.
Lesley Aeschliman: When is the DAISUKI service scheduled to begin streaming content?
Eri Maruyama: DAISUKI.net has just launched on 16th May (15th May in the US).
LA: Online streaming sites such as Crunchyroll and Hulu have streams for both paid subscribers and free users. Will DAISUKI do the same thing, or will the site follow a different model?
EM: All the content you can watch now is for free. You have the option to register as a member, but you can even watch the videos without signing up. Later, we are planning to add some premium content as well, which will be fee-based.
LA: Will the streams that are made available on DAISUKI include advertisements?
EM: Yes, they include ads, but for now, you will see the ad inside the videos only once per day.
LA: What video display resolutions will the streams on DAISUKI be available in?
EM: They are available in 1080p.
LA: Does DAISUKI have exclusive rights to the series that the site streams, or will the streaming rights for those series be available for other streaming sites?
EM: The rights are non-exclusive, so other sites may continue their streaming service as before.
LA: Your press releases mention that content will include series that are popular both in Japan and abroad, simulcasting (streaming new titles concurrently with their broadcasts in Japan), and staging live performances. As the site progresses and moves forward, would DAISUKI consider streaming older series from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that were popular during their era, or is DAISUKI planning to focus more on recent and contemporary series?
EM: We try to offer both: older series and new fresh titles. There are many old classics that have never been released in foreign countries. We have already received much feedback from overseas fans who ask about the older titles from SUNRISE, for example.
LA: The press release for DAISUKI mentions that the service is planning to have an online shop to sell animation-related products. What kind of merchandise is DAISUKI considering to sell in the online shop?
EM: Our online shop is planned to launch in late June 2013. We are hoping to offer many exclusive items that are not available anywhere else outside of Japan than at our DAISUKI store. Planned products are, for example, figures.
LA: How did the idea to create the DAISUKI service come about?
EM: The production companies (which are the shareholders of DAISUKI at the same time) thought about a platform where they could present their content to overseas fans more directly. While in recent years, the number of foreign websites with legal anime content has increased, DAISUKI is the first website from Japan that provides streaming world-wide (there are some region restrictions though). One of DAISUKI’s missions is to create a platform of business and exchange between anime fans from all over the world and creators / production companies in Japan.
LA: What are your long-term goals for DAISUKI?
EM: We wish that anime fans all over the world get to know DAISUKI and come to our site and love the service. We hope that fans think of DAISUKI as a place where they can get information and watch content of huge variety legally that is related to Japanese animation culture.
LA: Is there anything else you would like to share about DAISUKI?
EM: We are excited about the feedback we have already received from overseas fans. Let’s create an attractive portal together!