Sony Acquires Anime Streaming Giant Crunchyroll for $1.175 Billion

Image: Crunchyroll

We previously reported that Sony Pictures was interested in taking over Crunchyroll to further its ambitions in the lucrative anime market, and today, the entertainment giant made things official by announcing its intent to purchase the world’s biggest and most successful anime streaming service from AT&T for $1.175 billion.

While the transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals, Crunchyroll is expected to join Sony’s Funimation Global Group and bolster its preexisting streaming service with a massive library of anime content. That would include popular titles such as One Piece, Attack on Titan, and Naruto.

What the acquisition basically means is that Sony now owns the anime streaming market and is set to wield tremendous influence over the industry. Crunchyroll’s three-million-strong subscription base will also help the entertainment giant compete with the likes of Netflix.

“The Crunchyroll team has done an extraordinary job of not only growing the Crunchyroll brand but also building a passionate community of anime fans. Crunchyroll’s success is a direct result of the company’s culture and commitment to their fans,” said Tony Goncalves, Chief Revenue Officer, WarnerMedia. “By combining with Funimation, they will continue to nurture a global community and bring more anime to more people. I’m incredibly proud of the Crunchyroll team and what they have been able to accomplish in the digital media space in such a short period of time. They’ve created an end-to-end global ecosystem for this incredible art form.”

“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “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. Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best possible experience for fans and greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere. 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.”

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