Why did Crunchyroll and Funimation split?

Answered by Frank Schwing

CrunchyRoll and Funimation splitting was not a decision made by the companies themselves, but rather a result of Sony’s acquisition of both companies. Sony, a major player in the entertainment industry, purchased Funimation in 2017 and later acquired CrunchyRoll in 2020.

The decision to acquire both Funimation and CrunchyRoll was driven by Sony’s strategy to expand its presence in the anime streaming market. Anime has gained immense popularity worldwide, and Sony saw this as an opportunity to tap into a growing market and reach a wider audience.

However, it is important to note that even before the acquisition, CrunchyRoll and Funimation were operating as separate entities with their own distinct offerings. CrunchyRoll primarily focused on subbed anime, offering a vast library of anime series and films with subtitles in multiple languages. On the other hand, Funimation focused on dubbed anime, providing English-language voiceovers for a wide range of anime titles.

When Sony acquired both companies, it was expected that there would be some changes and integration between the two services. Sony likely saw the potential in combining the strengths of both platforms to create a more comprehensive and competitive anime streaming service.

Initially, Funimation continued to operate independently, and CrunchyRoll remained separate as well. However, as Sony began to align its vision for the two platforms, changes started to happen. Funimation, being the first acquisition, saw more immediate transformation under Sony’s leadership.

Sony began implementing changes in Funimation’s leadership, bringing in new executives and streamlining operations. The aim was to leverage Funimation’s brand recognition and expertise in English-language dubbing to enhance Sony’s overall anime offerings. This move was driven by Funimation’s existing market presence and its strong reputation among English-speaking anime fans.

Meanwhile, CrunchyRoll, with its larger content library and subscriber base, continued to operate independently for a while. However, it was only a matter of time before Sony started looking for ways to integrate and consolidate its anime streaming services.

In December 2020, Sony announced the creation of a new joint venture called Funimation Global Group, which brought together Funimation and CrunchyRoll under one umbrella. This move signified the beginning of a unified anime streaming service that aimed to combine the strengths of both platforms.

The decision to split CrunchyRoll and Funimation was not due to any internal conflicts or disagreements between the companies themselves. Instead, it was a strategic move by Sony to acquire and merge two prominent players in the anime streaming industry to create a more comprehensive and competitive platform.

CrunchyRoll and Funimation split as a result of Sony’s acquisition of both companies. Sony saw the potential in combining the strengths of both platforms to create a unified anime streaming service. While Funimation underwent more immediate changes under Sony’s leadership, CrunchyRoll continued to operate independently until the creation of the Funimation Global Group. The split was not driven by any internal conflicts but rather by Sony’s strategic vision for the anime streaming market.