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Funimation, Niconico to Jointly License Anime

posted on by Egan Loo
New joint venture, Funico, formed to handle streaming/home video licenses for 2 firms

The anime distributor Funimation and the video-streaming service Niconico announced on Friday that they are co-licensing anime for streaming and home video releases overseas. To that end, the two companies have formed and co-own a new joint venture, Funico, that will handle licensing for both. Going forward, Niconico will stream Funico-licensed titles, and Funimation will release Funico-licensed titles on home video.

The two companies emphasize that, in addition to physical home video media, Funico-licensed titles will be available through download-to-own options such as those that Funimation use for its current titles. They also told ANN that they intend to license anime for more countries than the United States and Canada — as much as the Japanese licensors and existing international agreements allow on a case-by-case basis.

Separately, Niconico told ANN that its English-language streaming service will offer high-definition video for both free and paid users.

Niconico.com is the English version of Nico Nico Douga, the popular Japanese website known for its user-submitted videos and live streams of events. Its signature features include scrolling comments that users can superimpose on top of videos (although the comments can be switched off by the viewer).

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