Get ready to consume all your anime (or most of it, anyway) under one roof. That’s basically the result of big news on Monday afternoon, as Sony announced its Funimation Global Group has acquired Crunchyroll from AT&T. In short, Funimation acquired Crunchyroll. They first announced the agreement in December 2020, but the companies only just got through regulatory approvals and completed the procurement. And Sony spent $1.175 billion to bring Crunchyroll in.
The deal between Funimation and Crunchyroll means widening distribution for anime to a broader group. Crunchyroll’s direct-to-consumer service comes with five million streaming subscribers. According to a press release, Crunchyroll has 120 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. Besides streaming on demand, Crunchyroll offers mobile games, manga, merchandise, and that magical distribution. Sony’s Funimation hopes to leverage that existing audience and build profits.
Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, president, and CEO of Sony Group Corporation, said in a statement. “We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group. Anime is a rapidly growing medium that enthralls and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe. The alignment of Crunchyroll and Funimation will enable us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime.”
Another Sony executive commented about how much value Crunchryoll adds to Sony’s existing anime business. That business includes Funimation and also Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, added, “With the addition of Crunchyroll, we have an unprecedented opportunity to serve anime fans like never before and deliver the anime experience across any platform they choose, from theatrical, events, home entertainment, games, streaming, linear TV—everywhere and every way fans want to experience their anime. Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.”
We’ll update this post when Funimation shares the details about that new anime subscription service.