Sony Pictures Entertainment is merging its other anime-focused service, Funimation, and all of its content under the Crunchyroll banner, after buying the anime streaming service Crunchyroll last year.
Crunchyroll will now have access to an even larger library of anime titles, including numerous English dubs that were previously created and distributed by Funimation. Crunchyroll customers now have access to over 1,600 hours of Funimation content, including more than 50 new titles and simulcast content.
As per Crunchyroll’s press release, the enhanced content availability will not result in a higher pricing structure. Prices will stay the same, with the basic ad-free membership plan beginning at $8 per month.
According to Colin Decker CEO of Crunchyroll that they can offer more value than ever before by combining dubs, subs, libraries, simulcasts, music, movies, and manga all into one subscription by combining all of the brands and services under the Crunchyroll name worldwide, as per Cnet website.
Funimation-Crunchyroll merge’s effect on anime streaming
The merging of Funimation and Crunchyroll could raise the cost of anime streaming. Crunchyroll is taking up a bunch of Funimation titles in a move that’s meant to bring the two largest anime streaming sites together under one subscription.
In addition, Wakanim, Funimation’s French-language subsidiary, and VRV, Crunchyroll’s streaming service, will be combined into a single Crunchyroll site. Crunchyroll’s acquisition does not come as a surprise. Sony, which also owns Funimation, finalized its $1.175 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll in August and announced plans to combine the two services under a single membership.
Crunchyroll users will now have access to simulcast titles previously only accessible on Funimation and Wakanim, as well as 80 % of Funimation and Wakanim’s “most popular existing series,” though it’s unclear whether Crunchyroll will host the complete Funimation library. Starting this spring, Funimation will no longer broadcast any new anime series; instead, they will be accessible on Crunchyroll but will continue to add new episodes to existing series.
Crunchyroll has announced that it will send emails to “eligible” Funimation, VRV, and Wakanim, subscribers soon, offering a complimentary 60-day Crunchyroll subscription. After the free trial, subscribers of Funimation will be forced to pay a higher monthly fee, according to the published News on The Verge website.