Crunchyroll, the popular anime streaming service, has now been acquired by Funimation. AT&T’s WarnerMedia has sold it to Sony for a whopping $1.2billion, and Crunchyroll will now be merged with the other streaming service. Here is the link to Sony’s press release.
Colin Decker, CEO of Funimation Global Group, says that “The union of Funimation and Crunchyroll is a win for anime fans around the world that will elevate the art and culture of this medium for decades to come,” he added, “Combining these two great companies will be a win for fans, and enable us to compete at a truly global scale. I am honored to welcome the wonderful Crunchyroll team to a shared mission—to help everyone belong to the extraordinary world of anime.”
Crunchyroll has 70 million free users and 3 million paid subscribers. This move would consolidate Sony’s position as the streaming platform especially for simulcasting new shows and producing originals (Crunchyroll has launched ‘Crunchyroll Originals’ in 2020), and also expanding the anime industry overseas—which contributes to half of the industry’s revenue; also puts them as a better competitor for Netflix, which also produces many of its own original anime shows.
“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, WarnerMedia’s Chief Revenue Officer, in a statement. “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,” 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.”
Crunchyroll also has its own anime convention, called Crunchyroll Expo; as well as Crunchyroll Games for distributing popular Japanese mobile games to English-speaking audiences. Anime distributor and manga publisher Viz Media’s European branch was bought by Crunchyroll in 2019. All of this belongs to Sony now, which increases their monopoly in the overseas anime industry.