Funimation and Hulu have entered a new partnership to simulcast new anime series on their streaming platforms. The Funimation Hulu partnership is set to bring a number of anime series to Hulu’s streaming service at the same time as their Japanese release.
Hulu will not only gain access to new series produced and released by Funimation, but the deal gives Funimation’s library a new home. Hulu will now have access to more than 600 shows for its platform, whereas a piecemeal agreement beforehand included just a few shows. The streaming service will include both subbed and dubbed versions of shows when available, and keep popular anime like My Hero Academia away from competitors.
The multi-year deal will give Hulu a chance to nab streaming rights to desirable shows. Hulu and Funimation will be the only place to find major anime series, meaning viewers will have to subscribe to one of the two services.
Sony Pictures Television bought Funimation last year. The acquisition saw Funimation recently end a longstanding relationship with Crunchyroll. The anime-centric streaming service still hosts a number of Funimation TV shows, and it is unclear whether or not those shows will remain.
Hulu was launched in 2007 and has become a major internet TV service alongside Netflix and Amazon. The company is owned in parts by The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and AT&T. Nippon TV licenses Hulu branding for a service available in Japan. Original content and cable TV series sit alongside one another, with movies and anime filling out the site’s roster.
Funimation owns rights to a wide range of anime from the company’s inception in 1994 through today. Some anime licensed by Funimation include Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Akira, Attack on Titan, and Dragon Ball. The Funimation Hulu partnership is expected to bring most of Funimation’s backlog to the streaming site.
Image courtesy of Studio Bones/Funimation.