HeroTV, or what used to be called such, shut its doors after 12 years of airing Filipino Dubbed anime last January 31, 2018. The closure generated a mixed buzz, but mostly regret and nostalgia for the many fans who grew up watching and discovering Anime that shaped them into what they are today.
But it appears that the Filipino Dubbed channel may have died, but now rebranded to a new beast.
In its latest tweet. HeroTV, or just only known now as Hero announced in their social channels that they are “aiming to showcase anime in their digital platform.” Followed by “THIS IS HERO NOW ON DIGITAL”, which is like you technologically clueless tito muttered something that he doesn’t know. Anyway, given all the clues and tidbits, they are telling people that the Hero brand will now be shifting from Cable to Online platform – better than saying digital. But they haven’t built or laid out the strategy to make it possible, and they want their avid fans to stay tuned for more announcement. This pique my interest and decided to write my thoughts on the matter. To which, you are now reading.
This is a Good Move
I may not be a fan of the channel ever since it ended its Hataw Hanep Hero era. But I still see this as a good move to shift to the online platform. While demand for dub anime in cable has dwindled because of the ubiquity of online streaming sites delivering the latest anime straight from Japan, we can not deny that there’s a sizable chunk of the demographic that clamour for a locally dubbed version of their favourite anime. It may be small for cable, but it is good enough for it to be successful in online space. The only thing they need to make sure they deliver it in a manner that will be accessible to its audience.
This “digital thing” can be done in many ways. One is creating a new service. Something along the lines of Crunchy Roll, where they will offer dubbed anime either by putting ads on the side or having a subscription service that will keep the shop rolling. While this may sound good on paper, I find this the least efficient way to get “digital” with the intention of reviving the brand. This strategy brings an added cost, which I would guess the organisation doesn’t have the resources to pull off. The next things are that people don’t want to pay shit for anime, or at least add another cost to their already growing bill. I don’t question people love their Anime Dub. But I don’t see it that they like it enough that they will pay a premium for it. Yeah, sure they are outliers, but we should see the big picture here.
Another way is by distributing their services through existing streaming platforms. A couple of Redditors speculated that Hero should integrate into ABS’ iWantTV platform. A video-on-demand service for ABS-CBN’s shows. But I argued that it the least optimal strategy to distribute content. Mainly it is catered toward the “mainstream” crowd who some anime fans loathed for putting anime out of “mainstream” limelight. My better strategy that I hope they do is that they deliver through their partner platform, HOOQ. A streaming service launched by Globe in response to PLDT’s content service iFlix. A streaming service that already has a sizable anime library, thanks to its license with AniPlus and some Telesuccess titles they happen to snag around. I figured HOOQ be a good partner, as ABS is already in a deep relationship with Globe carrying their “Kapamilya.” branded cellular network and content in their video distribution platform. It also helps that HOOQ is branded toward the “Millenial” crowd. Just like iFlix is to those who sold their soul to MVP. It is a perfect venue at little to no cost to the brand. Plus, people who already subscribe to the service can entice those who aren’t because of its other offerings. It makes the entire purchase worth the money.
Being the Official Mouth Piece of the Otaku Community
Other than delivering Anime online. Another part of their announcement that caught my attention is that want to provide the “latest on Anime, Pop-culture and Gaming”. To my understanding, they also want to establish a sort-of authority when it comes to delivering anything that is related to the Otaku community. They still want to develop their content other than just churning dub anime. In a sense, Hero did try. I remember Myrtle having her show about cosplay and shit. I also take they want to cover events. Not sure how it will work. But finding willing organisers that would want them is not a problem for them. I’m just not sure if that is a part of their strategy.
But to share what I think about being the “authority” of sorts is a good thing overall. The otaku community in local terms does lack that “voice” that represents them. There are many organisations scattered that tries to be one (we were one of them before). But the clout of Hero is more assuring than some part-time blokes who happen to write or covers the beat. An entirely dedicated entity is a welcome thing in this community.
That’s it for me. I haven’t written a long piece in a while. In fact, I haven’t written anything on this blog for a long time. I need to tend to some personal matters, one I am still currently sorting out. But fortunately, I have the time and willpower to write something. Hope you guys enjoy my chaotic mumbling and write a comment below if you disagree or I have missed anything that I should point out.