One additional update to this story features a NEW partnership, this time between Crunchyroll parent company Otter Media’s digital aggregation platform VRV and Anime streaming platform HIDIVE. VRV previously featured both Funimation and Crunchyroll content on its platform.
This is certainly good news if only because HIDIVE itself has had very lackluster App support. HIDIVE’s arrival on VRV means that its exclusive catalogue is now a lot more readily available (and for those of us who prefer to use their video game consoles as their entertainment center, its a real boon).
You can read more about the HIDIVE announcement over at VRV’s official site [Click Here]
A new article by Variety has given us even more details, including confirmation that Sony’s acquisition was the major deciding factor for the partnership’s termination. It was also revealed that Funimation itself is getting heavy investment from the corporate giant to expand “globally” and will once again become a major player in the anime licensing and streaming space beyond just dubbing. You can check out the details as well as Funimation’s own statement in the Variety Article [Click Here]
A big development came via the official Crunchyroll Forums regarding Legal Anime Streaming in the west. In a forum post written by Crunchyroll CEO shinji, it has been revealed that the catalogue partnership between Crunchyroll and Funimation will be winding down and ending on November 9th, 2018.
Under this partnership both Crunchyroll and Funimation shared their anime catalogue and focused on their own specific strengths. While Funimation focused on simuldubbing (Releasing Dubbed episodes soon after the Japanese airing) of Anime shows, Crunchyroll continued their focus on subtitled simulcast releases.
The partnership had initially created a good deal of fear among the western anime audience, with a lack of competition being the real concern. Instead of any issues, however, Funimation and Crunchyroll have actually been playing really well off of one another, and the partnership only brought good things to the western anime fan that now did not have to get both services if they only wanted one way of consuming anime (Dub or Sub).
Of course, other players in the anime licensing space have increased their market share and presence recently (HIDive, Amazon, Netflix) which certainly makes this move a bit baffling. The big reason, is most probably the purchase of Funimation by Corporate giant Sony, as even the official reason given by Crunchyroll for the termination is Funimation themselves deciding to “go their separate way”.
It’ll be interesting to see how this particular development changes the Anime streaming landscape yet again. Funimation and Crunchyroll had created a symbiotic relationship of sorts, and were both allowed to focus and compete with bigger players like Netflix and Amazon because of this partnership.
The full announcement from Crunchyroll can be read on their official Forums [Click Here]
We’ll keep you posted on any further developments regarding Funimation and Crunchyroll as we hear about them.
Source: Official Crunchyroll Forums
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