The anime fandom has grown and continues to grow. Every new day a new person gets addicted to binging anime till 3 am forgetting family, friends, girlfriends, and boyfriends. The demand for anime manga has gone about ten folds higher than it was ten years ago. In addition, the digitalizing world keeps making it easier to access anime easier and faster. At this ripe time, what could be a better market or digital marketers? One of the sharpest sellers of anime at this point is Funimation. Every single anime fan knows the girth of the company in the world of anime streaming. Over the year, Funimation has dealt with numerous anime and manga selling brands. Right when we thought Funimation had built enough of an empire, Funimation acquires AnimeLab. Given its history of continuous partnerships, Funimation continues to expand its business to higher grounds.
Funimation has been a hub of most dubbed anime releases. Over the years, it has partnered with Kodansha Comics, NIS America, and also Viz Media In 2020, Funimation was also to buy Crunchyroll for 1.17 billion USD. However, the deal has been on a halt for now. Funimation has been expanding its business ever since it started back in 2003. It has now received streaming rights for some of the most popular anime series and movies, including Code Geass and Attack on Titan. Now, it has become one of the leading distributors of anime.
This is yet another successful venture as Funimation acquires AnimeLab. With an expanded service, this could be beneficial for both the parties as well as for us as viewers. Here is more about the news in detail.
Funimation is an entertainment company owned by Sony Group Cooperation, under the joint venture of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, and Gen Fukunaga. Sony Group Cooperation owns 95% stakes of the company while Fukunaga owns the remaining 5%.
The company was founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga with his wife Cindy with the investment of Daniel Cocanougher and his family. It successfully licensed many series such as Dragon Ball. Funimation was acquired by Navarre Corporation in 2005 for 100.4 million USD in cash and 1.8 million shares of Navarre stock. 5 years later, Navarre Corporation announced its sale, and it was finally sold for 24 million to Gen Fukunaga in 2011.
By 2016 the company had launched its own logo and rebranded it as FunimationNow. The same year they established a partnership with Crunchyroll.
AnimeLab distributed anime in New Zealand and Australia. It was closely affiliated with Madman Entertainment. The beta version of the site was launched in 2014. It streamed approximately 700 shows online belonging to a wide range of genres. By 2015, its subscription plans were announced and introduced. Adult Swim’s select titles were announced to be streamed on the website in 2017.
A year later, AnimeLab had gained 1 million users. The same year, during the release of Cells at Work, the website collaborated with the Australian Red Cross’ campaign promoting blood donation.
The announcement of the news was first made on 9 June 2021. In this news, Funimation announced the collaboration between the two brands. AnimeLab will now be rebranded as FunimationANZ. This rebranding will begin on June 17, 2021. Meaning, AnimeLab will be shut down, and all the user will be moved to Funimation. However, users can continue to login into the newly branded FunimationANZ using their AnimeLab user details. Additionally, the AnimeLab blogs too will be shifted to the Funimation blog. The AnimeLab team will not be replaced, at least for the time being. Also, AnimeLab will be taking Japanese time into consideration rather than the usual Australian timings when mentioning anime seasons. Thus while the people in the Southern Hemisphere undergo winters, FunimationANZ will mark the anime as Summer anime.
🐨 A big g'day & kia ora to #FunimationANZ! 🥝 From next week, AnimeLab will begin to merge with Funimation, bringing more ways to stream your favourite anime content! Same Aussie team, new global family. Our world is yours… down under.
Funimation might be used to such changes, but the users of AnimeLab are not. To ease them, Funimation has continued to express that the experience on Funimation will be world-class and a total win for the users. Within the next week, AnimeLab will be officially rebranded as FunimationANZ. A wider range of anime will be available along with new features such as new apps on PlayStation 5 as well as on Nintendo Switch and also access to exclusive content.
Either way, this does sound like a great moment of rejoicing for AnimeLab users as well as anime streamers all around the globe.