Hasbro has a bit of a dilemma on their hands. Obviously, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on The Hub is a runaway hit and a big part of that success was the fact that episodes were so easy for anyone to watch online on sites like YouTube. Originally, Hasbro’s stance seemed to be that they didn’t care that episodes were being streamed on the web… they only cared about sales of the toys itself. But once they started selling individual episodes on iTunes the situation got a little more complicated.
Having worked with a variety of toy companies, let me just take a second to tell you that Hasbro is AMAZING to their fans. If you knew how often other toy companies were suing the heck out of their fans for the slightest things, you’d have a renewed appreciation for just how fantastic and fan friendly Hasbro is with their properties. They let us all happily run amuck with their characters when it comes to fan art, fiction, customs, websites and more.
But the streaming video issues is more complex. It’s hard to fault them for wanting to profit on their own content… they have every right to! But they don’t want to give up the ease of viewing that got them this huge fan base in the first place.
You can make the case that fans are just being lazy when they complain that they need the episodes streaming, especially when legal downloads of the show are just a quick visit to iTunes away. I can’t help but feel like a proper DVD release of each season would go a long way to help this situation and I believe that’s on the radar… eventually.
But the question a lot of people are asking, and rightly so, is why doesn’t Hasbro just stream the episodes themselves? Either directly through a partnership with YouTube or on The Hub website, they should be able to run advertising on the streaming videos and still profit off the content… without limiting its availability. Is the issue with this the advertising itself? Is it because they wouldn’t know what sort of ads to run, ie would they target parents and little girls who are the target demographic or us adult fans? It’s left a lot of people wondering why they aren’t doing this and I can only assume it’s because of a very good reason… that we just haven’t thought of yet!
What do you think is the biggest problem with Hasbro doing their own MLP: FiM ad supported streaming? How do you think Hasbro should handle this situation?
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic finally coming to DVD with The Friendship Express (mylittleponycollecting.com)