In a report from Variety published earlier today, it’s been announced that Funimation will no longer be providing licenses for their content to Crunchyroll. While they previously featured FunimationNOW on VRV, Crunchyroll’s sister service, that partnership will also be coming to an end as they work to expand their own services with newfound resources and investments from Sony.
For those unaware, things changed pretty dramatically for Funimation last year after Sony purchased a 95% stake in the company. With access to Sony’s vast resources, it appears as though Funimation is preparing to once again stand on its own, or attempt to, amidst a brave new world of streaming services and entertainment competition.
While VRV lost a major partner with Funimation, things aren’t all bad for the multi-channel subscription service. HiDive, the streaming service that holds exclusive access to Sentai Filmworks titles and has housed some of the more unique titles over the last few seasons, is officially joining VRV’s ranks. The content will supposedly be available within the next few weeks.
With a recent report that the diversified streaming services are pushing more and more people back into piracy, does Funimation really feel like operating a separate streaming service will allow them to expand their current base? Or will the prospect of having to pay for numerous monthly memberships banish more fans to the shadow-realm of piracy and illegal streaming?
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Update: Both Funimation and VRV declined to comment further on the news, pointing to their respective FAQ pages as their current official comments.