Has the Crunchyroll and Funimation merge impacted anime availability with other streaming services

Its no secret that I love watching anime. I have my go-to list that I rewatch from time to time. Sadly, I only own a small percentage of hard copies (DVD/Blu-ray) from my favorite shows and movies. As a result, I streamed a majority of my favorites with apps like Hulu and PeacockTV. Lately, I’ve noticed Hulu is being restricted to one season for select anime. So far this happened to Assassination Classroom and Snow White with the Red Hair. Although Peacock TV’s anime selection has improved, a majority of its library contains titles that are only English Subtitles with Japanese Audio. Why is this happening. I have a hunch.

The Merge

Crunchyroll and Funimation

Last year, Crunchyroll and Funimation announced their companies upcoming merge. At first, I thought they did this to avoid one streaming service consuming the other. Meaning current subscribers would have access to both libraries. Although, I’ve used Crunchyroll to watch subbed anime in the past, I prefer Funimation. It’s likely that loyalty stems from the fact that Funimation had a major presence in my childhood. Memorable branding is more impactful than consumers give it credit for. Being able to choose one over the other meant current and future streamers don’t have to worry about missing out. Turns out, I was wrong.

And the Winner Is…

Funimation is merging with Crunchyroll, which means Funimation is not getting anime titles that are exclusive to Crunchyroll. Sony owns both. Despite Funimation branding, Sony choose Crunchyroll. Eventually, I’ll have to cancel my Funimation account and convert my free Crunchyroll account to premium.

App wise, I prefer Funimation over Crunchyroll. I honestly thought Sony would keep both alive. From a money grab standpoint, I get it. Funimation subscriptions are cheaper than Crunchyroll. If they decided to let both streaming services live, they’d see a considerable drop in Crunchyroll subscriptions.

Streaming Budgets Have Limits

Although anime’s popularity has grown in the West, there are plenty of fans that’ll tolerate a limited selection of anime in favor of a Netflix or Hulu Subscription. These streaming services can accommodate a variety of taste in one household. Whereas, Crunchyroll and Funimation appeals to a smaller audience. If a family has to cut back, the streaming service that appeals to a smaller audience within the home is likely getting cancelled. Why not completely remove anime from other streaming services?

In my opinion, they serve as gateways. Anime is so accessible that it would fairly easy to restrict a show on several platforms. This would force the viewer to figure out where they can continue the story. So, they get a free membership or free trial to an anime streaming service. Suddenly, they’re on Treasure Planet. Surrounded by titles they’d never seen before. Debating whether they should take the plunge. Especially, if the streaming service has audio in their language.

Final Thought

I don’t foresee multi audience streaming services completely losing their anime catalogue. However, I am aggravated with the snail pace of the merge. Until I get the you should migrate soon message, I’m sticking with Funimation.


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