Sony Pictures Television’s anime streaming service, Animax UK, will be closing down on 15th October 2018, the company announced to subscribers in a newsletter earlier today.
Newsletters sent to customers include a promotional code for £5 off a 3-month subscription to Funimation Now, which has been owned by Sony Pictures since their acquisition of Funimation. However, this offer is only valid to customers who pay using a credit or debit card, as opposed to PayPal, iTunes or Roku. While Animax UK offered anime in Japanese with English subtitles, Funimation Now’s catalogue only includes English dubbed anime.
Following rumours about a potential television channel, Animax UK launched as a subscription-based streaming service on 24th October 2013. Its library allowed customers to watch both catalogue and currently airing Japanese anime; most notably those previously seen on Kaze’s now-defunct Anime On Demand service, as well as titles licensed by Anime Limited. A PlayStation 4 application was released a year later.
In recent years however, Animax UK faced tough competition from market leaders Crunchyroll, Funimation Now, and the recently launched HIDIVE. Animax UK is the fourth anime streaming service to cease UK operations in recent years, following Viz Media Europe’s Anime On Demand (December 2013), Wakanim UK, and Anime Consortium Japan’s Daisuki (October 2017).