AT&T has agreed to sell its Crunchyroll anime business to Funimation for $1.175 billion, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. announced on Thursday.
Crunchyroll is a major competitor to Sony’s Funimation, which is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment Japan Inc.’s subsidiary, Aniplex Inc. Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll would give the company access to the streaming service’s vast anime library with 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes.
“The combination of Crunchyroll and Funimation provides the opportunity to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers,” Sony said in a statement.
Founded in 2006, Crunchyroll is a premier anime direct-to-consumer service that boasts more than three million SVOD subscribers and 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories. The anime streaming service also offers AVOD, mobile games, manga, events merchandise and distribution.
"We are excited to embark on this new journey. 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,” Crunchyroll general manager Joanne Waage said. "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.”
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said that they are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family.
“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," Vinciquerra said.
Funimation’s streaming services offer a growing catalog of over 700 anime series and 13,000-plus hours of content available on 15 platforms and in 49 countries.