Sony is consolidating Sony Music Entertainment Japan’s Aniplex with Sony Pictures Television’s Funimation into one streaming experience.
According to a story by Variety, this merger combines U.S.-based Funimation with Aniplex’s French Wakanim and Australian Madman Anime Group. This means Japanese anime content will be acquired and distributed via Funimation across the U.S. under the JV structure. Funimation general manager Colin Decker will lead the jointly owned Aniplex and Sony Pictures Television group.
“Anime is a growing area of importance for us at Sony Pictures Television,” SPT chairman Mike Hopkins said in announcing the JV. “By combining these businesses, we immediately increase our global reach and expertise in [subscription] VOD, theatrical, home video, merchandising, events and more.”
This merger comes after Sony Pictures Television bought U.K. and Ireland anime distributor Manga Entertainment earlier this year. Now, adding Wakanim and Madman Anime, the group will operate under the Funimation name and will be accessible in 49 countries and 10 languages.
“Through Sony Group’s integration of anime-related streaming services, we are thrilled that numerous Japanese anime titles will be distributed globally through its digital platforms,” said Aniplex’s president Atsuhiro Iwakami. “We hope our partnership will contribute to the further development and expansion of the Japanese anime industry.”
The first order of business after the merger will be bringing the TV series adaptation of Aniplex’s “Fate/Grand Order” mobile game. “Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia” will be simulcast on U.S. FunimationNow starting October 5, 2019.
FunimationNow is compatible with Apple TV, iOS, Android, AndroidTV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, and more. You can sign up here with a free trial, plans start at $5.99/month after that.
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