Crunchyroll expands anime streaming app distribution to LG smart TVs

Crunchyroll has expanded distribution of its anime streaming service app for the second time this month, announcing Wednesday a rollout on LG smart TVs globally.

Crunchyroll’s app is launching today on smart TV from LG in both the U.S. and across international regions. It marks the latest smart TV partnership for Crunchyroll. In early February the service announced availability of its app on all 2017-2023 smart TVs from Samsung in the U.S., with users in other markets gaining access shortly after. It now counts distribution on 15 platforms, including most gaming consoles.

The Crunchyroll streaming service offers more than 18,000 hours, 46,000 episodes and films and 3,300 Japanese music videos and concert specials. Crunchyroll also offers the latest anime series, with a simulcast stream airing on the service shortly after episodes premiere in Japan. Its catalog is available in subtitled or dubbed formats across more than 12 languages.

“Our new partnership with LG makes it even easier to be an anime fan,” said Kaliel Roberts, chief product officer at Crunchyroll in a statement. “Anime offers a variety of genres and viewing adventures and now viewers have even more options to dive deeper.”

Crunchyroll was acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment from AT&T for $1.17 billion in 2021 through Funimation, the latter which is Sony’s joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment Japan subsidiary Aniplex and was an anime streaming competitor to Crunchyroll. Expanded availability of the Crunchyroll app follows an official announcement earlier this month that the Funimation anime streaming service and website will officially shutter April 2 and subscriptions migrated to Crunchyroll as the two services combine under one umbrella – a plan that’s been underway since 2022.

Crunchyroll counts a growing and dedicated fan base. Sony recently disclosed that the streaming service now has more than 13 million paying subscribers globally, spanning 200 countries and territories. And amid consumer subscription fatigue, a 2022 Hub Entertainment Research study found that Crunchyroll and Funimation ranked alongside major streaming entertainment players like Netflix and YouTube in terms of subscriptions users felt they couldn’t do without. Per the report, 67% of users categorized Crunchyroll as a “must-have” entertainment subscription for their household, in part thanks to its hard to find, niche content, while 65% of Funimation users said the same.

As Crunchyroll looks to expand its reach and attract more users, the service last October launched a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channel in the U.S., available on several platforms including The Roku Channel, Vizio’s WatchFree+ and LG Channels.