Animation video sharing website Aniboom has announced they’re launching a “virtual animation studio.” They’re unclear about how their business model works, but as I understand it, Aniboom intends to create productions for corporate clients by cherry-picking crew members from the large pool of animators who have uploaded videos to their site. On one of their pages, they advertise to potential clients that the 9,500 artists who have uploaded videos are ready to create animation of high-quality in a fast and cost efficient manner.
How can they do high-quality, fast AND cheap? A clue can be found in this section where they describe how animators who participate in their virtual productions will be compensated with “a variety of potential monetary benefits that include revenue share, employment offers and payment for series development with Aniboom.” Note that their ideas of compensation do not include any of those pesky line items that other studios have to contend with like salaries, health insurance, vacation time, retirement benefits, maternity leave, and learning and development opportunities.
Aniboom has been indoctrinating young artists for years through a savvy and systematic use of contests that encourages users to create work for corporations on spec and without any expectation of pay. We’ve warned readers about these contests on mutiple occasions. Now they appear to be pushing the exploitation of young artists to an entirely new (and more profitable) level, and for a company with millions of dollars in venture capital backing, that’s exactly what we’ve always expected them to do.