Senior Marketing Manager Adam Sheehan oversees Funimation.com, the one-stop shop for everything related to Funimation. Fans asked for change and they’ll get it. Soon, the Website will undergo a dramatic relaunch to better offer services to the anime community later this summer. Mr. Sheehan spoke to me at San Diego Comic-Con about the future of Funimation, the variety of ways fans can watch their favorite anime and an avalanche of new releases for Funimation.
Please describe the average workday at the Funimation workplace.
– “The average day in Texas is so not average at all. It’s almost a cliché. I remember going through college, talking to people. They’d say, ‘You’re average day is never average.’ I totally get it, now. You’re always checking emails, always running to meetings, always updating things regularly — weekly and monthly — but it all depends on what’s happening that month. It’s almost like prepping for the next event.”
“Either it’s going to be a convention promotion, an online event or a brand that’s releasing soon. A lot of the release schedule depends on what my day’s going to be like. It could be simple as I’ve got to update a bunch of spreadsheets and make sure our extras for our subscribers are online and are ready to go. Or, it could be we’ve got to brainstorm whole ideas to launch Guilty Crown events. It’s got to be social media wrapped with the website, with prizes, make sure everything, legally, is all right… or come out to Comic-Con. This is not a normal Sunday, along those lines. It’s a variety of different things, mostly always focused around promoting the brands at our company and promoting the Website, as a whole.”
Can you tell me a little about the Funimation Webpage?
– “Funimation.com is basically our one-stop for all things Funimation. Everything from our social media pops into our blog from the news page. The main thing is the page, itself, is a video portal. We have over 11,000 videos on there, including trailers and clips, about 8,500 plus full episodes and movies, with 1,200 of those being free to anyone and everyone to watch.”
“You have a wide variety of shows. The first episodes (one through two or one through four) of all these shows are free. Basically, if you’re a subscriber, you can get access to about 98 percent of our catalog, commercial-free and in HD. You can get access to our apps, sometimes you can get stuff early. If you’re a subscriber, you get dubs when the DVDs hit the shelves. Sometimes you get it before the DVDs hit the shelves. And also stuff like our simulcast of Attack on Titan, the biggest simulcast out there, right now. If you’re a subscriber, you get it in HD and a week before everyone else gets it. It’s kind of a big thing.”
Can you preview the upcoming Webpage relaunch?
– “We’re relaunching the new site because we’ve kind of outgrown it. Being that it was doing well for ourselves, but we had the lucky problem of having so many people want to go to the site, it slows itself down. It’s not the videos, themselves, it’s getting to the videos. We’re fixing that problem, we’re relaunching a cleaner, easier-to-use, faster webpage.”
“We took a lot of requests from fans. They asked, ‘Can you put a playlist, can you do a queue?’ We’re doing both of those things, as well as an online shop, so you can buy all things Funimation and tie it to everything else you’ve got going on there. Basically, we just want to make it better, faster, a whole lot more usable for people to watch anime. And this also helps with our apps, because our apps use the same database our Website does. So, if the Website is lagging, the apps sometimes lag. This is going to clear all that, too. You can go home and watch it on Roku. We have it on mobile devices (Android, iPhone, tablets, Kindle, Kindle Fire). We’re actually in beta right now for Samsung blu-rays and TVs. Of course, everyone keeps asking for consoles: PS3, XBOX and things like that. Stay tuned for all that. Basically, we want to get on consoles, but it’s a much bigger fish to fry than a mobile device. So, we’ll look into that next.”
Can you tell me a little about the apps?
– “We have two versions of the apps: there’s a paid version and a free version. With the free version, you get access to the episodes, as I mentioned, as well you can check out the show pages, buy the product, put together a newsfeed all in there. The paid app, which is a $9.95 one-time fee, you get about 3,000 episodes. So, not only will you get those entry episodes, you get full series that are selected. We change them out, so we keep them fresh. Basically, one month you might have 17 full series of one show, and then we’ll change out five of those, and give you five new ones. Plus, there’s a banner ad on the free ones and we remove that banner ad, for paid, as well.”
“Now, if you’re a subscriber, you can basically get the free app and still get all your content, that’s 8,000 videos, on mobile devices. We don’t force you to buy the paid app. You can use the free one. The only difference is the banner ad at the bottom. If you really don’t like banner ads, then $10.00.”
How many titles are available to Funimation?
– “We have about 350 shows in the Funimation catalog and 8,500 full-length episodes. The majority of those have videos on the site. 1,200 are free, 8,500 are available if you subscribe.”
How much does it cost to subscribe?
– “It costs $7.95 a month, basically, the cost of a meal at Taco Bell. It’s well worth it.”
Do you travel as much as Justin Rojas?
– “Not as much. I’d say our overall travel schedules are a little bit different. He’ll go out to do red-carpet events and media events and business-development stuff, because that’s part of his job. If I’m coming out to travel, it’s generally to a convention, where I’m promoting the Website. I still love to travel. I used to be the Convention Manager at Funimation, doing about 20 shows a year. That got a little bit much. I got a chance to jump to the Website, so I jumped over there. I still do about eight shows a year, to promote the Website. It’s a lot less travel than Justin, thank goodness. It gives me just a little travel, but not too much travel.”
What shows have you gone to this year?
– “Anime Boston, Anime Central, South by Southwest, Anime Expo, San Diego Comic-Con, next up is Otakon and New York Comic-Con. I think that’s the rest of my year. I don’t think I have anything else in between there, but never say never. You never know what’s going to pop up.”
Looking ahead, what else is happening at Funimation?
– “There’s a lot of extra stuff coming to the Website. The first half of the year has been a little slow for us. We didn’t pick up as many licenses as last year. So, we had a new release, like, one this month, one that month. We have like 12 to 15 new shows hitting next week and not stopping until, like, holiday season. We’ve got a lot of new stuff hitting the shelves, which means we’ve got a lot of new videos hitting the site, which means we’ve got a lot of new event promotions hitting social media and the site, to promote those videos. So, between the site launching, all these new brands and all this convention travel, we’re quite busy.”
For More Information:
– Adam’s Twitter
– Adam’s Facebook
– Funimation Webpage
– Funimation on Twitter
– Funimation on Facebook
– The Funimation Show on Youtube
– The Funimation Show on Twitter
– The Funimation Show on Facebook