Yesterday anime streaming service Funimation announced it’s sunsetting its app and website and officially folding into Crunchyroll on April 2, 2024.The official combination brings together to major anime streaming services. At Sony’s Global Press Conference at CES last month, the company announced they now have 13 million paid subscribers to Crunchyroll.
The move to combine services had been planned since 2022, after AT&T in 2021 sold Crunchyroll to Sony Pictures Entertainment, joint owner of Funimation, which had been Crunchyroll’s main streaming competition in the anime genre. An official date for the Funimation sunset wasn’t previously disclosed.
Users who roll their current Funimation subscription into Crunchyroll will see a handful of benefits like simulcasts of current series episodes shortly after they air in Japan, offline viewing options, and anime series in a variety of languages like English, German, French, and Spanish. Most of Funimation’s streaming content catalog has already migrated to Crunchyroll and Funimation subscriptions will automatically transfer to Crunchyroll. Funimation users can also take steps to transfer their Watch History and Watch lists to Crunchyroll.
However, subscribers who historically opted to redeem Funimation digital copies of purchased DVDs or Blu-Rays for lifetime viewings, will lose access to that digital content on April 2 as a part of the sunsetting. A user help page stated Crunchyroll “does not currently support Funimation Digital copies.” The only way to access that paid library is through the physical DVDs or Blu-Rays purchased.
Crunchyroll did not say whether there are plans to restore access to paid digital copies from Funimation. In regards to the digital copies, the user help page about the sunsetting, added, “However, we are continuously working to enhance our content offerings and provide you with an exceptional anime streaming experience.”
This could be bad news for some subscribers of the service, which has a dedicated anime fan base. Of Funimation users, 65% considered the subscription as a “must have” in their household because of its hard to find, niche content, according to a 2022 Hub Entertainment Research report. And 67% of Crunchyroll users said the same, according to the report.
Crunchyroll’s help page did not specify what price increases users will see in the coming months as both streaming platforms completely merge. Reports from The Verge stated that legacy Funimation subscribers will see price increases, noting a $5.99 per month Funimation Premium Plus plan increased to $9.99 per month for access to Crunchyroll’s MegaFan plan, based an email to subscribers. In late 2022 Crunchyroll monthly subscription prices in about 100 countries were slashed, though those uniform cuts did not apply to the most profitable markets.
Existing Funimation users have until April 2 to cancel their subscription directly from the website. Afterwards, subscription cancellations must be processed via Crunchyroll directly. Users seeking a refund for their subscription are encouraged to reach out to CrunchyRoll’s support team.