AnimeKisa.tv Shuts Down, Says Pirates Don’t Like Paying or Seeing Ads *TorrentFreak

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A popular anime piracy site has thrown in the towel after issues with its funding mechanism could not be resolved. AnimeKisa was getting up to 20 million hits per month, but its users preferred not to see a lot of ads. The site switched to a donation model, but when users failed to donate, the site was forced to shut down.

While many new pirate sites have a profit motive from the start, just getting a service up and running can be a fun challenge for those with the right skills.

For operators with disposable income, a free site can offer all sorts of non-cash rewards.

Building a community, meeting new friends, and doing something a little unusual can all reap rewards that money can’t buy. But the reality for most is that money doesn’t grow on trees and fan adulation doesn’t pay the website’s bills.

AnimeKisa – A Handy Success Story

The AnimeKisa domain appeared at the end of 2018, but it took several months before it gained traction. Offering anime, Japanese animated productions that everyone seems to be craving these days, the site then began to grow, with the first recordings from the Wayback Machine stating that AnimeKisa was looking to fund itself through donations.

animekisa-ss

“Help us continue to operate ad-free,” the old text read, indicating a goal of $150 per month and donations so far of $60.

It’s unclear whether this monthly target was met or exceeded, but like many similar platforms, advertising was later added to the site. In many cases, ads are enough to keep a site alive, but at some point it became clear that AnimeKisa users would prefer not to see many ads, if at all.

This is a conundrum faced by many pirate sites. Despite relatively minimal costs, sites must generate at least some money. Since most pirates (being pirates) prefer not to pay to access “free” content, advertising becomes part of the business model. But hackers tend to dislike ads either, so they either block them or pressure sites to remove them.

AnimeKisa removes advertising

According to an announcement from AnimeKisa this week, it removed most ads about 18 months ago. Traffic estimates from SimilarWeb show a healthy site, with between 18 and 21 million visits per month in 2022 and a popularity subreddit and Discord channel for discussion. However, none of this could force people to donate.

animekisa traffic

“If you’ve been here for a few months, you probably remember that we were running a fundraising campaign. Since we removed the advertisements a year and a half ago (except those from third parties that cannot be removed), the AK portfolio has dried up, thanks to your donations we have been able to extend the duration of life of the AKs for a few months,” the ad reads.

“It’s been 3 long years, it was great while it lasted, but AnimeKisa will never come back online.”

animekisa stop

The closure of the site seems under control. While it cannot be ignored, there is no mention of outside pressure as a factor in AnimeKisa’s closure. Of course, complaints from copyright holders are a reality for pirate sites and AnimeKisa was no exception.

In the past few months alone, entities such as MX International, VIZ Media, FUNimation, Aniplex, Madman Entertainment, and Toei have all filed DMCA Takedown Notice with Google and will likely continue to send them, even after the platform is gone.

AnimeKisa clones are not advised

People searching for the AnimeKisa brand on Google will not miss sites with the same name, but the operators of AnimeKisa advise against their use.

“AnimeKisa’s copiers are out there, they’re often infested with the worst kinds of ads [sic]. AnimeKisa may be shutting down, but don’t use bottom-of-the-barrel copycat websites because there are much better alternatives,” they notelisting a few alternatives as much better options.

The advertisements deployed by pirate sites “bottom of the barrel” allow them to stay online, but this can actually be to the detriment of users. Ads can be blocked in many cases, of course, but that means less money for their operators and less desire to keep them going, if at all.

It is a problem that does not have a simple solution and will therefore always be part of the hacking enigma. Even when content is “free,” websites cost money to operate.

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