Sony’s Funimation Buys Crunchyroll In A $1.2 Billion Acquisition Of AT&T’s Anime Streaming Service

After five years of providing a diverse range of anime series and shows the world over under the umbrella of WarnerMedia’s Otter Media division owned by AT&T, the popular Crunchyroll platform is heading over to Sony’s camp.

AT&T has finalized the sale agreement with Sony’s Aniplex Inc., a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan)’s subsidiary, to handing over its anime streaming service Crunchyroll including all of the related trademarks and copyright material such as Princess Connect! Re: Dive and others.

The final price is in the vicinity of $2 billion, with some reports estimate the acquisition would end up costing Sony $1.18 or somewhere around $1.175 billion.

Tony Goncalves, Chief Revenue Officer of WarnerMedia, said in a statement, “The Crunchyroll team has done an extraordinary job of not only growing the Crunchyroll brand but also building a passionate community of anime fans.”

Expounding further on the theme, Tony added that “Crunchyroll’s success is a direct result of the company’s culture and commitment to their fans. 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.”

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As a refresher to those who may be unfamiliar with the manga streaming platform, Crunchyroll is a premier direct-to-consumer anime service owned until recently by AT&T’s Warner Media segment.

The streaming service boasts more than 3 million SVOD subscribers and a rapidly growing upward trajectory bursting forward at an accelerated pace each successive quarter. The scale of its reach can be gauged from the fact that it serves 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories. The overall package consists of services composed of mobile games, merchandise, AVOD, distribution, manga, events, AVOD, and anime.

crunchyroll sony at&t

The merger of Funimation and Crunchyroll opens up horizons to expand the distribution network for content creators as well as associated partners while broadening fan-centric entertainment for consumers.

In a statement, Joanne Waage, General Manager of Crunchyroll, said, “we are excited to embark on this new journey.” He went on to say, “Crunchyroll has built a world-class brand with a passionate fan-base of over 3M subscribers, 50M social followers and 90M registered users. These amazing fans have helped to propel anime into a global phenomenon. Combining the strength of the Crunchyroll brand and the expertise of our global team with Funimation is an exciting prospect and a win for the incredible art form of anime.”

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“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family,” Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a statement. “Through Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, we have a deep understanding of this global art form 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.”

So, what are your thoughts about Crunchyroll’s new journey? Share your views with us in the comments section below.

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