Anime Strike, which is Amazon’s dedicated anime streaming service, has been shut down. The service launched on January 17, 2017 and was the first of Amazon’s Channels program – which were add-on streaming services for niche content.
An Amazon spokesperson explained Anime Strike’s closure to Forbes, “We have decided to move the curated catalogs of Anime Strike and Heera (a Bollywood content service) into Prime Videos so that more customers can enjoy this content as part of their Prime membership.”
Anime Strike has faced mountains of criticism since it’s launched, with the lion’s share aimed at the double-paywall. Fans needed both a Prime and Anime Strike membership if they wanted to watch licensed anime. Another source of criticism was Anime Strike’s delay in publishing episodes and lack of social media presence.
Amazon has deleted the Anime Strike Twitter account, but it has been inactive since the summer 2017 season. Due to the inactivity, Japanese publishers had to promote the series that they licensed to Anime Strike, including updating fans when new episodes were available.
The biggest sign of trouble was when Anime Strike failed to announce a single exclusive series for the winter 2018 series. In the past, Sentai Filmworks would cross-license anime for their own HIDIVE service and Amazon Prime, but all of their new licenses have been HIDIVE exclusive.
Former Anime Strike content will now be viable with just an Amazon Prime subscription, but the spokesperson didn’t say if Amazon will continue licensing anime or if this move will affect their exclusivity deal with the Animeism and Noitamina Japanese anime programming blocks.