In the wake of the AT&T buyout of WarnerMedia, and the merged company’s new plan to rollout a standalone streaming service in the next year, things they are a’changin’. One casualty has been Netflix’s deal to stream the complete series of Friends; another was Warner Bros. shutting down its Korean drama streaming service DramaFever and reportedly laying off a significant portion of the provider’s staff. Now, another shift in the streaming wars has occurred, this time on the animation front.
It seems that U.S. based anime-dubbing provider and distributor Funimation has decided to part ways with Crunchyroll and VRV. The Funimation channel will no longer be offered as a part of the VRV bundle or be available as an a la carte channel on the platform beyond November 9th. Funimation is a subsidiary of Sony while VRV and Crunchyroll are part of the WarnerMedia brand, so despite the anime providers’ long-standing partnership, that fruitful pairing is coming to a close.
But VRV subscribers shouldn’t lose heart. Along with the Funimation news came the announcement that HIDIVE is on board as the newest channel partner on VRV, with content becoming available to the online community within the next few weeks. HIDIVE is an anime streaming platform offering over 500 titles including beloved and currently-airing series like Made in Abyss, Bloom Into You, and Highschool of the Dead. HIDIVE will also offer VRV users a robust library of dubbed anime series, including Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma and Elfen Lied along with a large catalogue of classic dubs.
Here’s what the WarnerMedia subsidiaries had to say about the upcoming changes in a statement:
Both Crunchyroll and VRV are devoted to being platforms that are “everything to someone” not “something for everyone.” We have a few announcements to share before the end of the year, including some surprises from our WarnerMedia family, that will continue to demonstrate our commitment to super serving our community!
I’m a big fan of VRV and have been for a while since their bundled streaming services offer up a lot of genre selections for a steal of a deal. Fans get access to dubbed and subbed animation, Shudder’s horror library, and much more, so take a look at everything VRV still has to offer!