Neon Alley, the Viz Media anime and video channel that debuted almost two years ago, is changing its business model. Previously available through gaming systems and their website for a monthly fee, Neon Alley is moving to Hulu.com and Hulu Plus as of April 1.
Also, all Viz Media streaming content (including what’s currently available at VizAnime.com) will be consolidated under the Neon Alley brand. The programming schedule/ live streaming side will disappear, with all programming provided instead in “on demand” fashion. As they say in their FAQ, “overall, though, there will be much more dubbed content available at any given time.”
All Neon Alley content will be free to U.S. fans as of the April date, with news for Canadian fans coming later. However, that’s only if you access Hulu on your computer. To watch on your TV through a game system, Roku, or similar device (or to access from a tablet or mobile phone) requires paying for the monthly Hulu Plus subscription option. Existing Neon Alley customers will have access through March 31, with the last billing happening in February.
I’m guessing this announcement means that there weren’t enough subscribers to make development and maintenance of their own video delivery system worthwhile, so it’s easier to use an existing framework that already has apps and distribution in place.