Navarre CEO Cary Deacon said FUNimation’s new video portal and social network a “paradigm change” for the company.  FUNimation has been developing and testing the site for the past four months, and Deacon said “the preliminary results are very exciting.” 


“This new video portal (that’s up and running right now on has had significant impact on views and sales on the digital side,” Deacon said this week.  “Quite frankly, we think the whole video portal combined with the social network will be a paradigm shift for Funimation over the next 18 months and drive our digital sales.”


“It’s small today, but we see massive increases coming as we move forward in that sector,” he said.  Deacon declined to provide current digital sales figures.


A full beta release of the new site is planned in the next 60 days. 


In other news from the call, Deacon said he expected Funimation’s Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series (see “FUNimation Nabs FMA:  Brotherhood”) to be available late in Navarre’s fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2010. 


FUNimation has renewed its #1 license, Dragon Ball, for another five years.    


“We continue to see category dominance at Best Buy and others in the anime sector,” Deacon said of FUNimation’s position in the anime category.  “At retail, we tend to own the space very strongly.”  Deacon said of the licensing side, “We are the place to go for licensing anime out of Japan.”


Deacon indicated that FUNimation’s sales were not as concentrated in Dragon Ball as they used to be, and that the company now had fifty strong titles that were contributing significantly.  As a result, he said, sales are now more predictable.


Navarre reported sales declines amid some positive signs in the quarter ending March 31st (see “Sales Decline at Navarre”).