I really don't think anyone considers this to be anything remotely similar to the 90's or the early 2000's. Nor do I think the Funimation Channel is any kind of competetion for shows on Toonami. That channel is one that you have to pay extra to get depending upon your provider and doesn't reach any where near as wide of an audience as Toonami would. The only thing Funimation has atm that would hinder shows from airing on Toonami is the streaming service and their partnership with Crunchyroll. Those are the main cause of any issues. That and Toonami would rather play safe with shows that are nothing but basic common battle shounen.
The Toonami crew has stated in the past that they have made attempts to get newer shows but the problem at the end of the day was that they don't have enough money to risk spending on the newer titles. If the newer titles don't generate enough interest to offset the money spent on the titles, then some people are going to have to take the fall for the decision to acquire said titles. Also, lets not overlook the fact that DVD's aren't packaged the same way like they used to be. And by that I am referring to the selling of complete series instead discs containing only 4 or 5 episodes every few months.
This isn't exclusive to Funimation though. If people wanted they could easily do that with Kissanime or any hundred of streaming sites. Often enough some of those streaming sites also carry dubs of some of the more popular anime. And they could watch for free on those streaming sites instead of having to pay money for a subscription to Funimation, crunchyroll, etc.
To be fair Funimation does allow you to watch the episodes on their website for free so long as you don't mind commercials or it being in Japanese. Though I have seen some of the series with dub episodes that were free to watch for a period of time. But your point about alternative websites I do agree with. Though two of the biggest appeals of illegal websites is the lack of geographical restrictions combined with the lack of a subscription fee. Not like Netflix and other legal streaming websites haven't run into the problem of people outside the licensor designated geographical area trying to access content they aren't supposed to have access to as well. At the very least, some people do try to give legal streaming services money to access their content though the result may be still be classified as illegally streaming content.
But the thing is Toonami is more for casual audience and not the hardcore people who will watch online The people who would watch online are the more hardcore anime fans. Those are also the fans who are to blame for all the long runners on the block.
I guess that depends on where you live. In the metropolitan areas I have visited, a large number of people have smartphones, tablets, or some sort of device that lets them access the web and stream videos. And the age gap argument doesn't seem to be as prevalent of an argument like it used to be. This can be contributed to people dying and/or adapting to the times they live in.
One of the things that I don't like about some of the anime that I have seen nowadays is the quality of the story in comparison to the amount of fanservice. An example would be Prison School, while I liked the idea of the show I didn't find the amount of fanservice all that necessary. The amount of fanservice in the series made the show unappealing (boring) to watch. Another few shows that come to mind are Rosario + Vampire, Queen's blade and Wanna be the Strongest.
Even then something like Hulu or Netflix is going to be more accessible to viewers who are not going to be as hardcore about their anime as everyone else; which would be the people paying for the Funimation/Crunchyroll service. So it makes sense that Hulu/Netflix would try to pick up some of the more popular series if Toonami doesn't try getting into talks for those shows earlier.
Then again services like Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon have bigger wallets when compared to Adult Swim. And they have already established themselves as capable of generating enough viewer traffic on their services to justify taking risks in obtaining certain shows. Sadly, Toonami doesn't generate as much viewer traffic as some of these major players do on a daily basis. Unless the people behind the scenes of Toonami come up with some good ideas to generate more viewer traffic to their website or more money, then I don't see Toonami becoming anything greater than it already is.
Edited by Ren-san, 19 December 2017 - 07:29 PM.