Streamily

Online Service Review

Date:

While increased social media engagement in recent years has made it more practical for fans to engage with their favourite talent from games, anime, film and other storytelling mediums – there is nothing quite like having that opportunity to go down to your local convention, spend a bit of money, and walk away with a happy memory and a signed autographed print or object. There are limitations to achieving this, namely around resources. If you are like me and reside in a country where many big-name actors wouldn’t reside, such as Australia and the voice acting space, you are at the whim of conventions to bring over the talent you want. They clearly do their best at achieving this, however, ultimately they can’t bring over everybody, so there would likely be many on your wish list who it would not be possible to get a live in-person autograph from. Furthermore, in a country like Australia where we are so widely spaced out, it may not be financially or physically practical to attend every event. A few options exist – including absentee packs, but Streamily (streamily.com), with the motto ‘Livestreamed Autographs from Their Home to Yours‘ is an online service that seeks to give you much more flexibility in building your autograph collection.

Becoming particularly prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic when virtually no conventions were taking place, the premise of Streamily is simple: talent list their items with prices, a time they will be streaming their signing sessions, and with payment plus shipping you will have the item sent to you after it has been signed. In addition to streamed sessions, some talent will instead offer items that are either pre-signed, signed off-camera, or perhaps, even more valuable in my opinion as I received one of these, will sign your item and send you through a custom video of them doing so. The service stands out as an intermediary between the talent and the customer and ultimately does that well.

To test the service (and granted, also support two amazing voice actors) I sent two requests. The first was to voice actor Dorothy Fahn who has been in the voice acting space since the early-90s, providing voice roles including Tai’s Mother in Digimon (Arguably the best part of the Digimon Movie), Naru Narusegawa in Love Hina, Matsuri Hiiragi in Lucky StarChihiro Fujisaki | Sayaka Maizono | Tsumugi Shirogane in the Danganronpa series, Mercedes in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and many, many, many more. This was a non-live streamed, ‘Signed with Video’ signing and came with an amazing minute-long video where Fahn spoke to the camera and shared a bit about their past roles, and honestly provided an experience above and beyond what one would typically get paying more for at a convention – especially for someone with her years of experience. Gold star for Dorothy Fahn’s approach, although she is holding a signing livestream next month if you are interested in that approach instead. While I wouldn’t have gone for a print other than Chihiro Fujisaki who is easily my favourite Danganronpa series character… it is a tad regrettable that there are no Tai’s Mother prints on offer.

Streamily 1
Sampling of the prints currently available for Dorothy Fahn’s September Streamily livestream signing. FYI – I got the middle print

The second signing was from Emily Sun, known in recent months for her voice role as the adorable Clara in Honkai: Star Rail. Part because I genuinely like Sun’s performance, partly because of the art, and partly because I hope this brings me luck in actually pulling for Clara, I was delighted to receive the autograph relatively promptly. If you do read this, thank you as well for the amazing autograph, it came out incredibly! This was a live-streamed signing, as what appears a majority are. Therefore much of my subsequent musings will be on the process around this autograph.

This signing was a live-streamed signing done on Emily Sun’s personal Twitch channel (although some are also conducted via Streamily’s official channels). This makes a lot of sense, and having her community engage with her I imagine made for a more enjoyable watch. However, a little disappointingly, Streamily only seemed to inform me only 4 hours before the stream and as my print had been signed. A notice from the platform, when the signing stream went live, would have been a nice touch, although granted, kudos to time zones there was no way of watching it myself. 

Of course, with these orders come some upselling on Streamily’s part – from priority signing, the ability to get a clip of your autograph being signed, having a video message displayed to the signee, certificates of authenticity and print framing. Nothing is overly wallet-breaking, but if you are just in it for the autograph for your collection and you have your own way of storing prints, then none of this is really necessary. Streamily also offers a ‘Streamily Family Member’ subscription for $9.99USD a month, which gives you a discount of up to $14.00 on shipping on your first order, and a guarantee that “signed on camera” items you purchase will be signed live during the scheduled event. If you order a few things from Streamily a month it is worth it, and of course, the one-off shipping credit is nice, but probably isn’t worth it for the occasional orderer.

While Streamily as an online service ticks many boxes, assisted by the poor international exchange rate between Australia and the United States, means that a major limiting factor to those in some countries is cost. My shipping with Fahn’s order came to $27 USD, which was about 75% of the cost of the autograph, and at today’s exchange rate is nearly $42 AUD. This is a cost I chose to pay, and Streamily provides transparent pricing details before you finalize your order. However, this is rather dearly priced from my perspective. As all items get sent to Streamily by the talent for shipping, having a 30-60 day window where you can accumulate autographed items before having them sent out together would not only save a lot of money I imagine but also encourage international (and local) fans to use the service a lot more.

Streamily is a legitimate website that features many talented voice actors, performers, creatives and others using its platform. While exchange rates may mean it is a tad cost prohibitive for some, and could benefit a way of mitigating some of the higher shipping costs, it is a valuable service that I see assisting fans like myself to connect and support artists when they may never set foot in a country, state or region for the purposes of a convention. Definitely a service I will be using in the future, especially given the variety of talent they have using the service regularly.

Acknowledgements: This review was independently conducted using my own funds. I had no direct engagement with Streamily’s team during its creation.

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