Update: December 6, 4 pm ET: Edited to clarify that Hulu's licensing arrangement with Funimation does not extend to Funimation's entire 600 title library.Today Hulu and Funimation, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television, announced a multi-year partnership and output deal.What do you think of the Hulu and Funimation partnership? Last year it looked like Netflix had locked up an under-appreciated niche in the pop culture space, Japanese-style animation (anime), by bankrolling more than a dozen new series and original movies, as well as bringing hits from the Asian market to North American audiences.“It will fuel the acquisition of new titles and provide both Funimation and Hulu subscribers with access to the very best in anime that Japan has to offer.” “Funimation has been a longtime partner of ours, and together we have curated a full library of the most sought-after anime series from all over the world on Hulu,” said Lisa Holme, Hulu’s VP of Content Acquisition.“With this new deal, we are doubling-down on our investment to continue growing our world class anime offering with even more shows that we know our viewers love to watch.” The deal further expands Hulu’s world class collection of top anime hits.But Hulu has now launched a major counter-offensive, inking a first-look deal with Sony-owned anime powerhouse Funimation to distribute new licensed and produced titles starting in 2019.
Update: December 6, 4 pm ET: Edited to clarify that Hulu's licensing arrangement with Funimation does not extend to Funimation's entire 600 title library. premiere landing sites for dozens of subtitled anime, the same day and date they release in Japan."With this new deal, we are doubling-down on our investment to continue growing our world class anime offering with even more shows that we know our viewers love to watch."The new deal marks Hulu's largest investment in anime to date, expanding its catalogue of both subbed and dubbed titles.Netflix grasped the importance of this kind of content early on, and made a series of moves in 20 to populate its service with a wide selection of shows to appeal to the nearly bottomless appetite of fans.It also commissioned original and licensed programming from Asian producers, including two big budget animated Godzilla features, as well as anime-style shows based on Western content like The Funimation deal gives Hulu a strong card to play.
In a surprise move, Hulu and Funimation have agreed to a multi-year partnership to bring anime to both streaming services. Some of the most-watched anime titles will continue to call both Hulu and Funimation home in 2019, including "This expansive agreement, which symbolizes both companies' shared commitment to anime, along with the support of SPT, further cements Funimation's position as a global leader in anime distribution," said Gen Fukunaga, President and CEO at Funimation in a press release.