Funimation Launching OTT Video Service8 Jan, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Packaged-media anime distributor Funimation Entertainment is joining the burgeoning over-the-top video space. Texas-based Funimation is using technology from Sony DADC to launch ad-free FunimationNow, featuring a library of more than 400 titles, both subbed and dubbed, including “Dragon Ball Z,” “Attack on Titan,” “Fairy Tail,” “One Piece,” “Tokyo Ghoul” and “Space Dandy,” among others.
FunimationNow begins rollout in early February with completely redesigned iOS, Android and Kindle apps, as well as brand new Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV apps. The apps boast Airplay and Cast features, allowing users to watch on their TV from any mobile device. Also coming in February is a brand new Windows 10 Universal app. In May, a fully re-imagined Funimation website and Funimation gaming console apps will go live.
“We’re now uniquely positioned to deliver new and compelling experiences that will be integrated across multiple screens, platforms and channels, making it easier for fans to discover, share, and experience extraordinary anime,” COO Mike DuBoise said in a statement.
Interestingly, Funimation DVD and Blu-ray sales have bucked industry trends, experiencing an impressive double-digit growth since 2013. The company recently began a multiyear partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to manage distribution of Funimation's DVD and Blu-ray portfolio, as well as sales to national retailers in the U.S. and Canada.
“FunimationNow will be powered to support tens of millions of concurrent streams globally,” CTO Rahul Purini said. “And with support for 4K Ultra HD and 10 Mbps streams, Funimation is a true leader in anime entertainment.”
Last year, Funimation launched Funimation Films with Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F,’ its debut theatrical release in August. The film grossed more than $8 million at the U.S. box office in just 8 days of release — becoming one of the highest-grossing anime releases of all time as well as the only Top 10 anime film released by an independent studio.