Sony Pictures Entertainment announced the acquisition of the anime streaming service from AT&T and WarnerMedia, Crunchyroll. This acquisition is worth US $ 1.175 billion. After the acquisition, Crunchyroll will become part of Sony Funimation, a joint venture of Sony Pictures and Sony Music’s Aniplex.
With this acquisition, Funimation will have an additional 70 million free users and 3 million paid users from Crunchyroll. Today, Sony is well positioned to distribute animated content in the United States. Not only that, Sony also influenced the growth of the anime industry in Japan.
“We are very happy to start this new adventure,” said the General Manager of Crunchyroll, Joanne Waage, summarized from Gizmo China , Monday (14/12/2020). “Crunchyroll has built a world-class brand with a passionate fanbase . These incredible fans have helped to propel anime into a global phenomenon,” added Waage.
Waage added that the collaboration between Crunchyroll and Funimation will be a bright prospect for the anime industry. The same thing was also expressed by Sony Pictures CEO Tony Vinciquerra.
“Through Funimation and our outstanding partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, we have understood this global art form (anime) and we are well positioned to provide great content to audiences around the world,” explained Tony.
“Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best experience for fans and greater opportunities for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere,” added Tony.
For information, Crunchyroll was founded in 2006. Initially, the company was engaged in game streaming services and focused on anime lovers. Then, in 2013, Crunchyroll was acquired by the Chernin Group which was subsequently bought by the joint venture Otter Media and AT&T.
Under AT&T and Otter Media, Crunchyroll is focused on the over the top (OTT) business. In 2018, AT&T took over all Crunchyroll shares from Otter Media. On the other hand, Sony has solidified its position in the anime industry in the past few years.
Evidently in 2015, Sony acquired the streaming service Wakanim and in 2018, Sony bought the anime distributor, Madman Anime and the AnimeLab streaming platform.