BREAKING: Sony Snaps Up Anime Streaming Giant For $1.58bn
In a major move into the streaming market, Sony subsidiary Funimation will buy anime streaming service Crunchyroll from AT&T for $1.175 billion USD, or $1.58 billion AUD.
Crunchyroll, which specialises in Japanese animation and drama, boasts more than three million subscribers and 90 million registered users worldwide.
Sony has been rumoured to be in the hunt for Crunchyroll for months now, and Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said the deal would mean a better experience for fans and more opportunities for creators, producers, and publishers.
“Through Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, we have a deep understanding of this global artform and are well-positioned to deliver outstanding content to audiences around the world.
“Funimation has been doing this for over 25 years and we look forward to continuing to leverage the power of creativity and technology to succeed in this rapidly growing segment of entertainment,” he said.
Funimation CEO Colin Decker hailed the deal as “a win for anime fans around the world”, saying it would boost the medium for decades.
“Combining these two great companies will be a win for fans, and enable us to compete at a truly global scale. I am honoured to welcome the wonderful Crunchyroll team to a shared mission—to help everyone belong to the extraordinary world of anime,” he said.
The move consolidates Sony’s status as an anime powerhouse, with Funimation already holding licences for a number of popular shows such as One Piece, My Hero Academia, and Attack on Titan. Rival Netflix has a number of anime series on its platform, such as Devilman Crybaby, Sword Art Online, and Aggretsuko.