Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) this week completed its $1.175 billion acquisition of AT&T’s anime company, Crunchyroll, through Funimation Global Group. Funimation is a joint venture between SPE and Aniplex Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan).
“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group,” said Sony Group Corporation president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. “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.”
Crunchyroll is a direct-to-consumer anime service with five million SVOD subscribers and 120 million registered users throughout more than 200 countries. It offers AVOD, mobile games, events merchandise, and distribution.
“Crunchyroll adds tremendous value to Sony’s existing anime businesses, including Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan,” said SPE’s chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra. “With Crunchyroll and Funimation, we are committed to creating the ultimate anime experience for fans and presenting a unique opportunity for our key partners, publishers, and the immensely talented creators to continue to deliver their masterful content to audiences around the world.”
The acquisition — announced in December 2020 — grants Crunchyroll and Funimation an opportunity to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.
“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,” Vinciquerra continued. “Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.”