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Sony's Funimation Global Group acquires Crunchyroll (update: Funimation to unify under Crunchyroll brand)

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Sony's Funimation Global Group acquires Crunchyroll (update: Funimation to unify under Crunchyroll brand)

Old 08-25-21, 09:25 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

https://variety.com/2021/global/asia...on-1235048576/
Sony Has Yet to Win Anime Fans to Its Post-Crunchyroll Strategy, but Opportunities Remain Strong

Sony Pictures Entertainment announced earlier this month that it had completed its $1.18 billion purchase of anime streaming company Crunchyroll from AT&T, but it has done little to calm the nerves of the anime genre’s most dedicated supporters.

“Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible,” said SPE chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra in a statement. He gave no details of how or when Crunchyroll would be merged with Funimation, a similar streamer that SPE already owns, nor of how the Sony Group might enable anime streaming through its PlayStation gaming consoles.

Fans and industry insiders have expressed a range of concerns, such as the threat of jobs cuts for Funimation and Crunchyroll employees, or increased pressure on Japanese animators to tone down their work for Western consumption.

Other fans are worried about the impact on their own anime viewing: “My memberships for both services are going to renew this month and since y’all are now one company, what is going to happen to my subscription?” tweeted one fan. “Will people like me still have to pay for both services?”

Getting the deal done involved overcoming a U.S. Department of Justice probe into the takeover. The organization was concerned that a combined Funimation and Crunchyroll, which has five million paying subscribers and almost 120 million registered users, would become the dominant player in anime streaming outside Japan. But in the end it determined that Sony would not have a monopoly.

Data from market researcher Parrot Analytics shows that other players may be much larger. Its figures for content demand among subscription streamers in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2021 showed Hulu as the market leader with 21.4% share of viewing time, followed by Netflix with 18%. Disney Plus had a 4.6% share. Crunchyroll and Funimation claimed 3.5% and 2.7% shares respectively, despite being specialists in the genre.

Jonathan Clements, a veteran anime blogger and author of the book “Anime: A History,” says that Sony bought Crunchyroll less for its current subscribers than for the potential of its 120 million registered users.

“On paper, that looks like an asset with the power to greatly multiply its value,” he said. “The risk is that it’s a junk bond of cobweb accounts and people who’ve already moved on, but I presume that Crunchyroll has private metadata that favors the positive end.”

Another possible downside to the deal, says Clements, is that “Sony may have bought a competitor to streamline the market and cherry-pick the talent, but the talent leaves because they don’t like the new environment.”

Alejandro Rojas, director of applied analytics at Parrot, views the deal as a win for Sony if it can attract “a larger number of paid subscribers and, with its larger scale, justify further investments to supply more quality content to an ever-expanding set of fans.”

Rojas noted that global anime consumption has nearly doubled since 2017, but he makes a critical distinction between the high volume, subscription-renewing “super fans” that Sony is targeting versus more casual users.

If it is the occasional consumers that are driving the growth, Sony’s deal may not be a game changer. General streaming services such as Netflix and HBO Max that “offer the genre as part of a more complete catalog of programming may capitalize growth expectations,” Rojas said.

The solution for Sony, says Rojas, is “to extract consumption behaviors from millions of users to determine the actual split between ‘super fans’ and ‘casual fans’ on a market-by-market basis.”

Highlighting the importance of understanding national trends is the example of Japan itself.

Teikoku Databank, a Tokyo-based data collection and analysis company, recently released a survey on the Japanese anime biz in 2020. Despite the monster success of “Demon Slayer” (co-produced through Sony’s Aniplex unit) and “Evangelion,” the Japanese anime market shrank for the first time in ten years. Total earnings dropped by 2% and, of the anime companies surveyed, 49%% reported drops in revenue, year-on-year.

Teikoku concluded that the Japanese domestic market, particularly terrestrial TV, is declining, while Japanese producers are facing increased competition from Chinese animation suppliers.

Parrot’s Rojas says that (globally) “consumers are hungry for more anime content,” but industry supply is not keeping up.

According to Parrot data, in the May 2020 to April 2021 period, 4.7% of global viewer demand was for anime, while only 3.2% of shows offered fell in this category. The gap, he says, “represents an expansion opportunity for more anime titles.”

Japan remains the biggest supplier, despite the rise of vendors from China, South Korea and, even, the West. “Analyzing the content genome of strong anime titles, we constantly find links to manga intellectual properties,” Rojas said. “Japan, being such a powerful force in the creation and commercialization of manga, has a unique content engine to keep its supremacy in the near future.”
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John Pannozzi (08-26-21)
Old 08-26-21, 10:44 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

That article just makes my head hurt. What "talent" is going to leave? The skeleton crew of people that run the Crunchyroll apps? Are they talking about licenses that Crunchyroll has that may renege with this deal (if so, that's the info that people really need). Also the Netflix-like use of anime to just mean stuff that was animated abroad (or maybe something in a certain style).

I still think the overlap between Crunchyroll and Funimation subscribers must be gigantic, even if not everyone subs to them at the same time necessarily. I'm not actually sure how much this is broadening their subscriber base, as opposed to how much this is going to lose them if they combine subscriptions (and the dual subscribers don't need to pay as much). But if I can get both of their content for cheaper, so be it.
Old 08-26-21, 08:45 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

AnimeLab (Australia / New Zealand) recently closed down and users were migrated to Funimation. It was a higher rated service versus Crunchyroll and Funimation. I've heard some titles didn't migrate over (can't confirm this myself).

I expect the unified streaming service to be eventually Funimation only. IMO, the next important update to watch is Wakanim (France, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia,...). It will be interesting to see how this will be executed due to the number regions and languages. I think for the most part, English speaking regions (U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland; and maybe South Africa) will take priority for the unified service launch. Funimation service has been launching very slowly in Latin & South America. I just don't see any way the unified service be launched at once for all regions. Crunchyroll streaming would slowly phased out (region by region). This transition will definitely take time. Will it be all done in 2022?

Just for reference on select Crunchyroll streaming regions:
- North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and the Middle East
- Worldwide excluding Asia (this is actually not all of Asia)
- Worldwide excluding Japan
Languages supported by Crunchyroll (beyond English): Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
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Old 08-27-21, 12:28 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

Sony is terrible to work for, by the way. Never heard a good word said about working there in any division.

I think we'll get a far more improved app for the eventual Funimation/Crunchyroll super-service. That's probably the biggest net positive to come out of this deal.
Old 08-27-21, 08:06 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Sony is terrible to work for, by the way. Never heard a good word said about working there in any division.

I think we'll get a far more improved app for the eventual Funimation/Crunchyroll super-service. That's probably the biggest net positive to come out of this deal.
I'd love for that to happen but it's not like Funimation is loads better than Crunchyroll at the moment and it's not like they're gaining a ton of expertise here, considering how many people Crunchyroll had let go over the years in the infrastructure/development side. It feels like they'll improve if they have to but otherwise it is what it is, which is good enough to keep money coming in (but not all that good in general). Please prove me wrong, though, Sony.
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John Pannozzi (09-10-21)
Old 09-08-21, 06:56 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

A couple updates to note here.

- HIDIVE will no longer be available on VRV after September 30, 2021
https://www.hidive.com/news/2021/9/8...t-with-our-faq

- Anime on Demand (Germany) will be shutting down December 8, 2021. AoD has been adding titles throughout this year on Crunchyroll. There is no mention of Funimation on the article (in German).
https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-ne...ei-crunchyroll
Old 09-08-21, 08:50 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

AnimeLab was also being shutdown and merged into FUNimation.

Figure it's only a matter of time before Wakanim follows suit.
Old 09-09-21, 05:08 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

^ There hasn't been new updates from Wakanim.


https://www.wakanim.tv/de/v2/support/faq (DE)
https://www.wakanim.tv/fr/v2/support/faq (France)
https://www.wakanim.tv/ru/v2/support/faq (RU)

https://www.wakanim.tv/sc/v2/support/faq (Nordic)
Funimation (the parent company of Wakanim) and Crunchyroll have become one and the same. What does that imply?

This means that the offer and availability of your favorite content will be more extensive. Our proposal is based on the satisfaction of the fans of the community but also on the creation of a unique subscription for a unique experience. Despite your many questions and although the merger has already been formalized, we are unfortunately not yet able to answer all your questions. However, we want to be as transparent as possible with our fans and rest assured that, as soon as we have new information to share, you will be the first to know. For now, both services are operating as usual. If you have any questions about your Wakanim or Crunchyroll subscription, please contact the respective support services directly.


I have both a Crunchyroll subscription and a Wakanim subscription, should I cancel one of them?

Both Wakanim and Crunchyroll subscription services will continue to operate separately while our teams work on creating a unified subscription experience. There is no need to take action.


When can we see Crunchyroll content on Wakanim or vice versa?

We’re working through the details of this right now. Rest assured that we’ll let our fans know as soon as there is an update to share.
Old 11-28-21, 11:50 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

Anything new on this? I'm back on funimation since my new TV came with a free month trial.
Old 11-28-21, 12:32 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

No new news. Crunchyroll is still announcing new streaming titles (including ones for next season). They also have announced streaming titles for sometime in 2022. I think Crunchyroll's new streaming titles will slowly dwindle as 2022 progresses (as Funimation get more and more new titles). Funimation unified streaming service is definitely going to take time. Will it be done sometime in 2022?
Old 03-01-22, 09:00 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

https://help.crunchyroll.com/hc/en-u...4495938340500/
Anime Fans Win as Funimation Global Group Content Moves to Crunchyroll Starting Today

ANIME FANS WIN AS FUNIMATION GLOBAL GROUP CONTENT MOVES TO CRUNCHYROLL STARTING TODAY

— Pricing on Crunchyroll Unchanged, Creating the Largest Library and Simulcast Lineup Without the Need for Multiple Anime Subscriptions —

— 1600+ Hours, 50+ Newly-Added Titles Available Now on Crunchyroll,

Future New Series Exclusive to Crunchyroll Starting April 1st —

Culver City, California – March 1, 2022 – Starting today, existing and new Crunchyroll subscribers will have access to library and simulcast content previously exclusive to Funimation. This move makes good on the promise to fans that the merger of Funimation and Crunchyroll would bring together the previously separate services into a single subscription. Crunchyroll’s pricing remains unchanged, offering fans the ultimate anime experience with subs, dubs, films, and simulcast series in over 200 countries and territories and in 10 languages.

“When we brought Funimation and Crunchyroll together last year, our top priority was to put fans first,” said Colin Decker, CEO of Crunchyroll. “Unifying all of our brands and services under the Crunchyroll brand globally enables us to offer more value than ever before as we combine subs, dubs, simulcasts, library, music, movies, manga—all into one subscription. The new Crunchyroll is the realization of a dream, and we are grateful to the creators of anime and the millions of fans who have joined us in making the community what it is today.”

As of today, 40,000+ sub and dub episodes are available on Crunchyroll for fans to enjoy, with more hitting the service daily over the next few weeks ahead. All new series from the upcoming Spring season – the biggest on record to be announced soon – will stream only on Crunchyroll; Funimation will continue to add new episodes of current series.

Fans of anime will be thrilled that Crunchyroll’s ad-free subscription options have not changed, creating a huge benefit for new and existing subscribers who will no longer have to pay for two services. (Crunchyroll tiers are $7.99/month, Fan; $9.99/month, Mega Fan; and $14.99/month, Ultimate Fan)

Existing subscribers of Funimation can learn more here.

In addition to consolidation of SVOD services, Sony-owned Funimation Global Group, LLC will now operate as Crunchyroll, LLC and has initiated rebranding across its global footprint to solidify Crunchyroll as the single, global brand for anime.
***

https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-ne...-anime-library

Funimation Content Moving to Crunchyroll for World’s Largest Anime Library

Fans will enjoy even more anime as Funimation, Wakanim move to Crunchyroll starting today!

Huge news: Anime just powered up!Funimation, which serves millions of anime fans in over 52 countries and 10 languages, will be unifying under the Crunchyroll brand. This move will include Funimation’s subsidiary, Wakanim, as well as Crunchyroll’s VRV to create one subscription service for our anime fans worldwide.

What does this mean?

This means all your anime, all on one platform. Starting today, tons of shows and movies from Funimation and Wakanim will begin arriving on Crunchyroll—so you’ll get more dubs, more subs, more everything. That includes titles available now like My Hero Academia, Tokyo GhoulandYu Yu Hakusho alongside favorites like Cowboy Bebop and Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, all under one subscription! Check out the list of new arrivals on Crunchyroll, with much more to come!

This also means new series in the upcoming Spring season (the biggest on record—stay tuned!) and beyond will only stream on Crunchyroll. Moving forward, Funimation will only add new episodes of continuing series, which means Funimation users will want to move to a Crunchyroll account as soon as possible.

That’s why now, as a welcome to the new Crunchyroll family, Funimation, Wakanim, and VRV subscribers get a special deal for 60 days of Crunchyroll Premium free! Over the next few days, qualified Funimation, Wakanim, and VRV subscribers will receive an email with their unique link to redeem.



With an announcement this big, we know there are bound to be questions: This FAQ page has answers to help Crunchyroll, Funimation, Wakanim, and VRV users. New users can also explore Crunchyroll’s awesome titles, community, and events like Crunchyroll Expo and the Anime Awards by checking out this handy Welcome to Crunchyroll Guide.

As Crunchyroll and Funimation enter this new era together, we couldn’t be more excited to bring together a vibrant community of anime fans, creators, and artists. Thank you for taking anime to the next level with us!

In case you missed them, here are some helpful links:

***

https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-ne...on-crunchyroll

Funimation Titles Now Available on Crunchyroll

Following the announcement that Funimation will unify under the Crunchyroll brand, we are happy to announce the following list of shows are now available on Crunchyroll for all subscribers!
Our regularly updated list of shows you can now watch on Crunchyroll!This article and list will be actively updated as more shows appear on the service, so make sure to check back in and see what new and classic anime you can watch!
  • 2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team (Sub and Dub)
  • Adachi and Shimamura (Sub and Dub)
  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (Dub)
  • Akudama Drive (Sub and Dub)
  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest (Sub and Dub)
  • Attack on Titan: Junior High (Sub and Dub)
  • BACK ARROW (Sub and Dub)
  • Black Clover Episodes 1-170 (Dub)
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront (Dub)
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond (Dub)
  • BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense (Sub and Dub)
  • Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki (Sub and Dub)
  • Bungo and Alchemist -Gears of Judgement- (Sub and Dub)
  • By the Grace of the Gods (Sub and Dub)
  • Cautious Hero: The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious (Sub and Dub)
  • Charlotte (Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • Combatants Will Be Dispatched! (Sub and Dub)
  • Cowboy Bebop (Sub and Dub)
  • DARLING in the FRANXX (Dub)
  • Date A Live I (Dub)
  • Date A Live II (Dub)
  • Date A Live III (Dub)
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Dub)
  • Demon Lord, Retry! (Sub and Dub)
  • Dr. STONE (Dub)
  • Dr. STONE Season 2 (Dub)
  • Dragon Goes House-Hunting (Sub and Dub)
  • Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia (Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • Fire Force (Dub)
  • Fire Force Season 2 (Dub)
  • Fruits Basket (Dub)
  • Fruits Basket Season 2 (Dub)
  • Fruits Basket The Final Season (Dub)
  • Full Dive: This Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG Is Even Shittier than Real Life! (Sub and Dub)
  • Goblin Slayer (Dub)
  • High School DxD (Dub)
  • High School DxD NEW (Dub)
  • High School DxD BorN (Dub)
  • High School DxD Hero (Dub)
  • Horimiya (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • Hortensia SAGA (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? (Sub and Dub)
  • How Not to Summon a Demon Lord (Dub)
  • How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Omega (Dub)
  • Hunter x Hunter Episodes 1-75 (Dub)
  • Hyouka (Sub and Dub)
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 1 (Dub)
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2 (Dub)
  • Kemono Jihen (Sub and Dub)
  • Kingdom Season 1 (Sub and Dub)
  • Kingdom Season 2 (Sub and Dub)
  • Kingdom Season 3 (Sub and Dub)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Dub)
  • Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear (Sub and Dub)
  • Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan (Sub and Dub)
  • Log Horizon (Sub and Dub)
  • Log Horizon 2 (Sub and Dub)
  • Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table (Sub and Dub)
  • MARS RED (Sub and Dub)
  • Megalobox (Dub)
  • Megalobox 2: Nomad (Sub and Dub)
  • Miss Caretaker of Sunohara-sou (Dub and Sub)
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (Dub)
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S (Dub)
  • Moriarty the Patriot (Sub and Dub)
  • Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation Season 1 (Dub)
  • Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation (Sub and Dub)
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Sub and Dub)
  • My First Girlfriend is a Gal (Dub)
  • My Hero Academia Season 1 (Dub)
  • My Hero Academia Season 2 (Dub)
  • My Hero Academia Season 3 (Dub)
  • My Hero Academia Season 4 (Dub)
  • My Hero Academia Season 5 (Dub)
  • Noragami (Dub)
  • Noragami Aragoto (Dub)
  • Otherside Picnic (Sub and Dub)
  • Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World (Sub and Dub)
  • Plunderer (Sub and Dub)
  • Scar on the Praeter (Sub)
  • Scarlet Nexus (Sub)
  • SHADOWS HOUSE (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • SK8 the Infinity (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • Sorcerous Stabber Orphen (Sub and Dub)
  • Sorcerous Stabber Orphen Battle of Kimluck (Sub and Dub)
  • SSSS.DYNAZENON (Sub and Dub)
  • SUPER HXEROS (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies moved to a starter town? (Sub and Dub)
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 1 (Dub)
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 (Dub)
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime OADs (Dub)
  • The Day I Became a God (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • The Detective Is Already Dead (Dub)
  • The Duke of Death and His Maid (Sub and Dub)
  • The Dungeon of Black Company (Sub and Dub)
  • The Honor at Magic High School (Sub and Dub)
  • The Promised Neverland Season 1 (Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • The Promised Neverland Season 2 (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets Season 1 (Dub)
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets Season 2 (Dub)
  • Toilet-bound Hanako-kun (Sub and Dub)
  • Tokyo Ghoul (Dub)
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Root A (Dub)
  • Tokyo Ghoul: re (Dub)
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! (Sub and Dub)
  • Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song- (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina (Sub and Dub)
  • WONDER EGG PRIORITY (Sub and Dub | North America, Australia, New Zealand, LATAM only)
  • Yu Yu Hakusho Episodes 1-112 (Sub and Dub)
  • Yu Yu Hakusho OVAs (Sub)
  • Yuri!!! on ICE (Dub)
In case you missed them, here are some helpful links:
******

https://blog.funimation.com/2022/03/...anime-library/

Funimation Content Moving to Crunchyroll for World’s Largest Anime Library

Huge news: Anime just powered up! Funimation, which serves millions of anime fans in over 52 countries and 10 languages, will be unifying under the Crunchyroll brand.



This move will include Funimation’s subsidiary, Wakanim, as well as Crunchyroll’s VRV to create one subscription service for our anime fans worldwide.

What does this mean?

This means all your anime, all on one platform. Starting today, tons of shows and movies from Funimation and Wakanim will begin arriving on Crunchyroll—so you’ll get more dubs, more subs, more of everything you’ve come to love!

That includes blockbuster titles like My Hero Academia, JUJUTSU KAISEN and Fruits Basket, and Crunchyroll favorites like ODDTAXI, Tokyo Revengers and Naruto Shippuden, all under one subscription!

Check out the list of new arrivals on Crunchyroll, with much more to come!

This means that new anime series in the upcoming Spring season (the biggest on record—stay tuned!) and beyond will only stream on Crunchyroll. As we move forward, Funimation will only add new episodes of continuing series, which means that you’ll want to move to a Crunchyroll account as soon as possible.

That’s why now, as a welcome to the new Crunchyroll family, Funimation, Wakanim and VRV subscribers get a special deal for 60 days of Crunchyroll Premium free! Over the next few days, qualified Funimation, Wakanim and VRV subscribers will receive an email with their unique link to redeem. Have questions about how to move to Crunchyroll? We’ve got you.



With an announcement this big, we know there are bound to be questions: This FAQ page has answers to help Crunchyroll, Funimation, Wakanim, and VRV users. New users can also explore Crunchyroll’s awesome titles, community and events like Crunchyroll Expo and the Anime Awards by checking out this handy Welcome to Crunchyroll Guide.

As Crunchyroll and Funimation enter this new era together, we couldn’t be more excited to bring together a vibrant community of anime fans, creators, and artists Thank you for taking anime to the next level with us!

In case you missed them, here are some helpful links:

Last edited by WTK; 03-01-22 at 08:56 PM.
Old 03-01-22, 09:25 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

What a mess.
Old 03-01-22, 04:06 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

So if you are a Crunchyroll Premium subscriber, you are getting the Funimation service. Correct? It sucks for Funimation subscribers but I’m happy with this direction.
Old 03-01-22, 04:25 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

Some of it.
Old 03-01-22, 09:02 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

Originally Posted by LorenzoL
So if you are a Crunchyroll Premium subscriber, you are getting the Funimation service. Correct? It sucks for Funimation subscribers but I’m happy with this direction.
Many of the recent/new titles are included (listed on CR already). It's not 100% clear how the rest of the titles will be handled (especially older catalog titles).

I will more curious of this part from the initial PR (especially how it will impact home video releases):
In addition to consolidation of SVOD services, Sony-owned Funimation Global Group, LLC will now operate as Crunchyroll, LLC and has initiated rebranding across its global footprint to solidify Crunchyroll as the single, global brand for anime.
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John Pannozzi (03-02-22)
Old 03-04-22, 03:11 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

I think they should have gone with the Funimation branding but I understand why they went with Crunchyroll. The future is streaming and Funimation's streaming brand was light years behind.
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John Pannozzi (03-07-22)
Old 03-11-22, 11:12 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

http://4NN.cx/.183405

What We Know About the Funimation-Crunchyroll Merger

With Funimation's anime content heading to Crunchyroll, fans have raised many questions about how the transition will be handled from a consumer perspective. After speaking with representatives of Crunchyroll and Funimation, here is everything we know right now:

Which Funimation titles will be on Crunchyroll?

According to a Crunchyroll spokesman, the "overwhelming majority" of titles will make it Crunchyroll eventually. Funimation will continue to stream new episodes of existing Winter 2022 series, but all new series will be streaming on Crunchyroll, including all new titles within the Spring anime season.

Crunchyroll posted a list of all titles heading over to its service, which includes titles with English subtitles and English dubs. This list will continue to be updated as time passes.

For those who are already subscribed to Funimation, is there a way to get a refund or transfer the remaining time on their subscription to their Crunchyroll account?

Accounts for Funimation and Crunchyroll currently remain separate, but as this help page outlines, Funimation users who don't currently have a paid Crunchyroll subscription will get a free 60-day trial of Crunchyroll Premium. This offer has been sent directly to eligible Funimation users via email.

For those who already have a paid Crunchyroll subscription and want to transfer their time from their Funimation account, a Crunchyroll spokesman advised that they contact the Customer Service team directly for support. Some users have reported that they have successfully managed to get their time transferred this way.

Can we expect Crunchyroll streaming apps to be rolled out for other platforms that previously hosted Funimation's app?

The spokesman said that the company is currently "evaluating which legacy Funimation platforms make sense to explore."

The Crunchyroll app is currently available on over 15 platforms. Most recently, a Nintendo Switch app launched in February.

Will Crunchyroll incorporate closed caption subtitles for their dubbed anime, as Funimation's streams have done in the past?

The spokesman confirmed that closed caption support is one of the team's priorities. They also elaborated that Crunchyroll plans to "enhance the video player experiences within the Crunchyroll apps to have the features and functionality of all brands ... while also considering changes to the user experience on the platform."

Will Crunchyroll upload the home video versions of catalog shows for streaming, as Funimation's streams have done for some titles in the past?

The spokesman said that the titles will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, either for possible home video launches or for streaming.

Will language audio options be embedded into the videos themselves instead of having to choose them from a drop-down bar on the show's home page?

The spokesman confirmed that, like with closed caption subtitles, the team is "actively working on providing a unified sub and dub experience on our players," and asked users to wait for future updates on Crunchyroll.

Will the Funimation brand continue to be used for home video or other contexts?

A Funimation spokesman told ANN that although the Funimation service will continue with no current end date, home video will eventually move to the Crunchyroll brand internationally and domestically, with the exception of Germany and France where home video will continue to be released under the Kazé brand. Funimation's Europe streaming equivalent, Wakanim, will also be replaced by the Crunchyroll brand.

Will the Crunchyroll Originals line continue under the consolidated service?

Although the CR spokesman did not address the future of the "Crunchyroll Originals" brand specifically, they stated that the company will continue to invest in co-productions, and asked fans to "stay tuned" for more news on those titles.

It is our understanding that the pipeline for producing subtitle translations will also shift to Crunchyroll. Funimation subtitlers were known to be paid at higher rates than CR subtitlers, so will the rates for subtitle translation contractors reflect Crunchyroll's existing standards?

The CR spokesman claimed: "As the companies have come together, we're assessing translation editorial and production across both brands and in all languages and regions, and have established best practices for compensation that are aligned competitively. We don't discuss compensation specifics for our full-time staff or contractors."

A translator who worked on Funimation simulcast subtitles told ANN anonymously that they were informed two days before Christmas that they would no longer receive work from the company. The call came two months after their rates were raised while the translator was doing preproduction work on Winter 2022 simulcasts.

What is the company's content policy, especially for age-restricted content? Some viewers are worried that certain titles with risque/sexual content will either be removed from the service without warning or not licensed in the future.

The CR spokesman stated, "Our team works diligently to curate the Crunchyroll library with an assortment of content to suit our community's varying tastes," and highlighted that the service offers mature-gated content for users over 18 years of age.

What will happen to overlapping jobs between the two existing services? Will there be layoffs?

The spokesman neither confirmed nor denied that there were layoffs, but assured that "expertise across both brands will stay intact." Crunchyroll is currently recruiting more than 100 positions worldwide.

Update: further clarification added about future home video branding.

Last edited by WTK; 03-11-22 at 05:30 PM.
Old 03-11-22, 11:15 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

My funimation account with grandfathered price lapses next month so I guess I'll just ride it out, use my 60 day CR trial (and hope that most stuff, including the dubs my kids watch, move over by then) and then switch over. Sucks that there's no way to keep my current sub rate though.
Old 03-11-22, 01:22 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

I ended up just canceling my Funimation sub. I barely ever used it anyway, but liked supporting it.
Old 03-12-22, 12:32 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T


Strategically, now might be the best time to pressure Crunchyroll when it comes to things like translation rates because the company is going through a lot of changes anyway. When things are more stable, it will be so easy for them to adopt a "don't fix what isn't broken" stance
"Don't fix what isn't broken" has been Crunchyroll's stance on subtitle rates for over a decade, with them established a cheap-ass system in the early days that "worked" and the company never seeing a reason to invest further in it https://youtu.be/Z6K-FOK_MrY
There is a truly big disconnect between how execs/business people perceive what CR is as a company and how anime fans perceive it.

For the people that use it, it's obviously a localisation service.

For them, it's "another San Fran tech company"
That's why their major investments have been about strengthening the brand and competing with other services like Netflix and Hulu for name recognition

But Crunchyroll's true value is its niche as a company that deals with JP media first.
By being such a major presence in the localisation sphere while also undercutting translators, CR's predatory practices hurt the entire localisation sector and lower the quality across the board. It's a race to the bottom that was only made possible by exploiting fan translators
One of the reasons so many companies would *love* to replace translators with MTL is because they see translation as an irritating expense rather than core to the business model. Everyone got used to paying fan translators pennies and they don't even want to do that anymore.
Much like how the animation industry is driven by passion and fumes, the localisation sector is in the same state. Fewer people have to do more with less resources, and they will keep succeeding even when they shouldn't, because they truly love anime that much.
The quality will decline, but not enough that it stops the demand for anime from growing. I won't blame the consumers for continuing to love anime despite problems in the subtitles, but execs will use that as an excuse to continue taking the work for granted. It's sad.
But the good news is, like I said at the start of the thread, big sweeping changes means the time is right to set new standards.

With the amount of money in the business now, there are NO EXCUSES for cheaping out on labour!
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John Pannozzi (03-15-22)
Old 03-15-22, 08:25 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

RIP...Funimation brand name on home video releases.

Their June home video releases were announced today. Everything is listed under Crunchyroll. On the cover art/packaging, Crunchyroll logo replaced Funimation. This switch is happening much faster than anticipated.

https://forum.dvdtalk.com/anime-talk...l#post14074898
Old 03-16-22, 08:18 AM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

Ugh. Well I guess that's to be expected since the name has broader recognition but man, end of an era.

Also I don't know how they haven't "fixed" the way they list seasons on Crunchyroll. Each different language version, plus dub or sub, gets a different season header, and it's kind of confusing switching between them especially when the display only shows the first XX number of characters and the language descriptions are at the end of long titles.
Old 03-16-22, 12:22 PM
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Re: Sony’s Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T

Originally Posted by fujishig
Ugh. Well I guess that's to be expected since the name has broader recognition but man, end of an era.

Also I don't know how they haven't "fixed" the way they list seasons on Crunchyroll. Each different language version, plus dub or sub, gets a different season header, and it's kind of confusing switching between them especially when the display only shows the first XX number of characters and the language descriptions are at the end of long titles.
I did read somewhere that they intend to merge all the language options into a single video with settings options so that won't be an issue eventually.
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John Pannozzi (03-27-22)
Old 03-17-22, 01:40 PM
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Re: Sony's Funimation Global Group acquires Crunchyroll (update: Funimation to unify under Crunchyroll br

https://variety.com/2022/digital/new...gy-1235207122/

Sony Fattens Up Crunchyroll’s Menu: Why Anime Is Its Biggest Streaming Bet

The conglomerate continues to invest in its digital strategy catering to anime superfans

Most major entertainment companies looking for the pole position in the global streaming road race have a go-big-or-go-home strategy — they’re building massive vehicles with broad, four-quadrant appeal.

Sony has taken a different tack. Its primary direct-to-consumer streaming video business is Crunchyroll, geared to the Japanese art forms of anime and manga. Instead of pouring tens of billions into content to vie against the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus, it is flooding the zone for a distinct and passionate fan subculture.

“The thesis is quite simple: We aspire to be everything to someone, not something to everyone,” says Colin Decker, CEO of Crunchyroll. “We’ve always been by and for anime fans and creators.”

Adds Decker, “Our business has more in common with fans of the NFL than users of Netflix.”

This month, Sony took a big step toward making its anime division an even larger global force: Starting March 1, Crunchyroll subscribers have access to library and simulcast content previously available exclusively on Funimation, which Sony Pictures Television bought in 2017.

The move brings more than 1,600 hours from more than 50 newly added titles in Funimation’s lineup to Crunchyroll, which Sony bought for $1.18 billion in cash from AT&T last year. At the same time, Sony says it won’t be raising prices on Crunchyroll’s packages.

That consolidates the company’s anime efforts around Crunchyroll, which now stocks more than 40,000 subtitled and dubbed episodes — the biggest bucket of anime available anywhere. Anime fans can watch favorites like “My Hero Academia,” “Tokyo Ghoul,” “Yu Yu Hakusho,” “Cowboy Bebop” and “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation.” This week, Sony added three popular Dragon Ball anime series, formerly exclusive to Funimation — comprising more than 500 episodes — to the Crunchyroll lineup as well.

The 28-year-old Funimation brand is set to be phased out: Future new anime series will be exclusive to Crunchyroll starting April 1, and Funimation will continue to add new episodes of current series only. Sony is committed to building on Crunchyroll’s momentum. Today, Crunchyroll has more than 1,000 employees in 14 offices worldwide and is looking to hire more than 100 staffers.

But don’t call anime a “genre.” Where the Western entertainment sensibility thinks of it as a niche, Decker says, “the anime community thinks of it as a lifestyle — it’s a POV on the world. It’s much more than linear entertainment.”

As a form, anime encompasses numerous genres like horror, sci-fi, rom-coms and dramas, says Decker: “There’s an anime for everyone.” And the anime industry provides a steady and prolific output of high-quality material; Crunchyroll and Funimation have presented 20-30 simulcasts of new Japanese anime shows per quarter, according to Decker. “People enjoy kind of the infinite depth,” he says. “It’s like an achievement to get through these shows with hundreds of episodes.”

The core Crunchyroll business revolves around streaming video, but the brand also extends to mobile games, theatrical film releases, merchandise, live events (like the Crunchyroll Expo, set for Aug. 5-7 in San Jose) and DVDs.

“We certainly have hit shows and franchises — but really, the value proposition is belonging to a community,” Decker says.

Sony does own some other streaming businesses, including SonyLIV in India and Pure Flix, a Christian-content streaming service it acquired in 2020. And Sony Pictures continues exploit the streaming economy as a content wholesaler: Last year, for example, it cut a rich, multiyear movie-output pact with Netflix. But Crunchyroll is Sony’s main owned-and-operated field unit in the streaming wars.

If you want to call anime a niche, it’s one of the most successful niches in the world — attracting more fans than other interest-based entertainment services geared around, say, horror or faith-based programming. As of August, Crunchyroll had more than 5 million paying subscribers worldwide and 120 million registered users in 120-plus countries. Decker won’t say what those numbers are today, but it’s a good bet they’re higher now that Sony is steering Funimation users over to Crunchyroll.

Indeed, the Justice Department’s antitrust review of Sony’s purchase of Crunchyroll took more than six months. The concern was that the combined entity would harm competition. Decker insists that it’s a very competitive space. “It was a matter of helping them understand the dynamics of the market,” he says.

To be sure, streamers like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Amazon’s Prime Video have sought to capitalize on anime’s popularity by adding a selection of content (some of it sublicensed from Crunchyroll or Funimation).

And AMC Networks is also hoping to cash in on anime, and expects to step up competition with Crunchyroll. In January, the cable programmer acquired Sentai, which operates the Hidive anime streaming service. “The anime audience has historically been underserved by linear TV,” says Miquel Penella, president of streaming services at AMC. Sentai’s business has historically been focused on content licensing, but going forward AMC’s primary goal is to expand the content and reach of Hidive.

A priority for AMC in developing Hidive and its other streaming services like Acorn TV, Allblk and Shudder is to remain authentic in the eyes of the target fanbase. “We don’t want to go to the broad market,” Penella says. “These are audiences with unique sensibilities.”

Anime is “an area Sony should dominate,” maintains Gen Fukunaga, founder of Funimation, who sold the company to Sony for $156 million. Fukunaga, who left Sony in 2019 after serving as Funimation’s chairman and is now a venture investor, notes that the company was smart to set up the anime division as a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

Crunchyroll may be outbid by major streamers for some of the hottest anime titles, he observes. Today, some of the bigger shows can have production costs that run $200,000-$300,000 per television half-hour, he says.

But “the big boys tend to be hit-focused,” he says. “If you’re a true anime fan, Crunchyroll is the only game in town.”
Old 03-25-22, 07:54 PM
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Re: Sony's Funimation Global Group acquires Crunchyroll (update: Funimation to unify under Crunchyroll br

https://help.crunchyroll.com/hc/en-u...orted-Viewing-
Changes to Ad-Supported Viewing

For the Spring 2022 season and future seasonal releases, Crunchyroll will update our offering on simulcast titles by subscription tier. To view new and continuing simulcasts, a premium monthly or annual subscription will be required. With the exception below, we will no longer be offering simulcast episodes one week after release as an ad-supported, free viewing option. For continuing series, ad-supported viewing on any new episodes will not be available in line with the Spring season, however, previously published episodes are still available to all user types.

To introduce our new seasonal simulcasts, we will be offering initial episodes of select titles as part of a “seasonal sampler” for free viewing for a limited time. For the Spring 2022 season, users can watch the first three episodes of these simulcast titles for free with ads:
  • Spy x Family
  • A Couple of Cuckoos
  • Dawn of the Witch
  • Tomodachi Game
  • Skeleton Knight in Another World
  • Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie
  • The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs
The first three episodes of these Spring titles will be available for free, ad-supported viewing one week after their subscription-only premiere until 5/31. After this date, all episodes within our seasonal sampler preview will require subscription.

We want to encourage as many fans as possible to explore new shows and see the full benefits of Crunchyroll premium access. Crunchyroll makes more than 1,000 hours available for viewers to sample free of charge through our ad-supported tier, and will continue to offer free content going forward.

To try out our premium membership and to enjoy full access to simulcasts and catalog content, you can sign up for our 14-Day Free Trial at any time. Besides all major credit card options, a subscription can be started through Crunchyroll gift cards, Apple iTunes, and Google Play. In addition, local pre-pay options are available in some regions.

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