Streaming war: Crunchyroll merges with Wakanim to crush Netflix

After the acquisition of Sony, the Crunchyroll platform announced the absorption of the catalog of Wakanim, another streaming platform dedicated to anime.

In August 2021, Funimation Global Group (a Sony company) completed the acquisition of the Crunchyroll anime platform, previously owned by the American giant AT&T, for more than a billion dollars. And like Funimation also owns the Wakanim platform – also dedicated to Japanese animation – the merger between the two entities suggested the emergence of a super catalog of anime ready to crush the competition.

Even though Wakanim, Crunchyroll and Anime Digital Network (50% owned by Sony) have since continued to shoot independently, the idea of ​​a one-time subscription – already broached by the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment at the time of signing – will eventually materialize. In a recent press release, Crunchyroll boss Colin Decker announced that in the coming weeks, its catalog would gradually merge with those of Funimation and Wakanim (nearly fifty new titles on Crunchyroll).

One Piece, Fruit Basket, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer and more in one place

For years, anime fans have had to pay multiple subscriptions to watch all of their simulcast, subtitled, or dubbed programs. When we brought together Wakanim and Crunchyroll last year, our absolute goal was to put fans first, and so that had to change. Today marks the first step in fulfilling that promise and I’m extremely happy to say that finally the fans are winners.

Wakanim and Funimation will therefore only add new episodes of series already in progress before disappearing (forcing Wakanim subscribers to switch to the former competitor). All new spring anime will be offered exclusively on Crunchyroll from April 1st.. In addition to allowing subscribers to increase subscriptions to follow different series, unifying platforms and grouping content will above all allow Sony to establish itself as the quasi-leader in Japanese animation (production and distribution) and to compete with other platforms, especially Netflix.

Demon Slayer: PictureSony vs. Netflix

The streaming giant has clearly felt the vein and has been investing in the field for a few years by adding many classics and hits to its increasingly rich catalog (until obtaining certain exclusives and original productions). This migration will therefore allow Crunchyroll to block the road to N red by gathering the largest collection of anime in the world, while maintaining subscriptions at a very competitive price (€4.99 for a standard subscription). There remains the DNA platform, whose fate for the moment seems close to that of Wakanim.