Hulu and Funimation announced that they entered a landmark multi-year streaming agreement. The deal, which expands on a previous streaming agreement, will grant Hulu a first-look at all streaming rights to titles released under Funimation’s banner starting in 2019. Basically, this grants Hulu the first pick on all of Funimation’s upcoming titles, ensuring that FunimationNow and Hulu are the only streaming outlets in the United States who will handle a number of Funimation’s subtitled simulcasts and SimulDubs.
In addition, the deal guarantees a shared simulcast window across both services, which will see both services offering day-and-date simulcasts of subtitled shows.
The press release also notes that Hulu and FunimationNow will be the only platforms in the United States where both subtitled and dubbed versions of My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, and Tokyo Ghoul will be offered.
Funimation President and CEO Gen Fukunaga commented on the news, stating
This expansive agreement, which symbolizes both companies’ shared commitment to anime, along with the support of SPT, further cements Funimation’s position as a global leader in anime distribution, […] It will fuel the acquisition of new titles and provide both Funimation and Hulu subscribers with access to the very best in anime that Japan has to offer.
In a comment to Variety, Fukunaga added that the contract will “will fuel the acquisition of new titles and provide both Funimation and Hulu subscribers with access to the very best in anime that Japan has to offer.”
Hulu VP of Content Acquisition Lisa Holme also offered comment:
Funimation has been a longtime partner of ours, and together we have curated a full library of the most sought-after anime series from all over the world on Hulu […] With this new deal, we are doubling-down on our investment to continue growing our world class anime offering with even more shows that we know our viewers love to watch.
Speaking to Variety, Holme expanded on her comment, explaining:
What this partnership brings us is the highest volume of high-quality anime hits, day and date when they release in Japan, […] We had a high degree of confidence in Funimation’s ability to execute — to get the biggest, best, noisiest anime. […] We do have some pretty big titles from Funimation on Hulu already, and to extent they have future seasons those are obvious targets.
In October 2017, Funimation announced that they were purchased by Sony Pictures Television. On October 9, the publisher exited a two-year content sharing agreement with Crunchyroll, which saw all of Funimation’s content removed from the platform, and vice versa.