Anime is becoming more and more mainstream in the US. This means that more and more streaming services are stepping up their game. Netflix is constantly trying to get more and more anime content and live-action adaptations of anime, and now Hulu is trying to up its game.
Variety reports that they have teamed up with Funimation to get a first-look deal. This means that when services are wanting to acquire rights to any of Funimation’s anime, Hulu gets first pick of the lot. According to the report, this deal will allow Hulu to add at least 20 seasons a year of simulcast content plus more dubbed releases to their catalog. Of course, Hulu won’t be getting all of Funimation’s content, but the goal is to get the more popular and mainstream titles with Funimation being designed more for the more hardcore fans of anime. It is important to note that Funimation will have all the titles through their FunimationNow service.
Hulu’s VP of content acquisition, Lisa Holme, told Variety:
Holme hasn’t mentioned which specific titles are being eyed by Hulu, and her reasoning is that they are currently bidding with Japanese anime studios at the moment. It will be interesting to see what they add as they already have some very popular shows including One-Punch Man, Sailor Moon, Naruto Shippuden, and Attack on Titan. Maybe this will finally get us the third season of My Hero Academia.
The deal between Hulu and Funimation will begin in 2019, but no specific date has been given.