To the surprise of its subscribers, HIDIVE has announced that it plans to completely shut down its anime streaming service within a month. HIDIVE’s current catalog of shows and its userbase will be moved over to Facebook under a new service titled Facebook Anime.
HIDIVE launched in 2017, primarily as a carrier for series licensed by Sentai Filmworks. Meant to be a competitor to other streaming services like Crunchyroll and Funimation, HIDIVE has since been unable to obtain a comparable number of subscribers.
The service has tried to attract more users by licensing exclusive contracts with shows such as Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but the strategy has failed to translate into more subscribers. Most users were found to have simply just subscribed for the 30 day trial, binge watch the few exclusive series they were interested in, and then cancel before the renewal date.
The move to Facebook has so far been received mostly negatively by existing HIDIVE users. The Facebook brand has been tarnished in recent years due to various complications including privacy controversies, failure to address the spread of disinformation campaigns on the Facebook platform, and questions over whether its chairman is actually capable of displaying any human emotion.
“I definitely won’t be moving over to Facebook Anime,” said one of HIDIVE’s two dozen paying subscribers, Andrew Elis. “I don’t need my social media contacts knowing I’ve been watching Kandagawa Jet Girls. There are some things in life you just need to keep private.”
HIDIVE representatives assured users that the transition to Facebook would be as seamless as possible as most users were already used to just pirating the shows they couldn’t find on Funimation and Crunchyroll anyway.