Sony’s Purchase of Crunchyroll completed
Back in October of this year it was reported that Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc (SEI) were in advanced negotiations with AT&T with regards to buying the anime streaming giant Crunchyroll from the telecommunications company. On Wednesday the 9th of December SEI announced the purchase of Crunchyroll, adding the streaming site to it’s growing portfolio which already includes Funimation.
With this purchase SEI have made huge steps forward to consolidating the Anime Industry, both in Japan and around the world, combining the two biggest global Anime streaming sites. The total cost of the purchase is being reported at approximately $1.175 Billion, the sale of the streaming site will go a long way to reducing its debt following the acquisition of Time Warner Media last year.
Warner Media’s CRO Tony Conclaves had this to say on the deal;
“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, 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.”
Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, added;
“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family. 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.”
This is not a sudden move for SEI, who have been involved in the Anime industry since 1995 when Sony Music Entertainment Japan (SMEJ) established Aniplex a subsidiary created for managing anime. In 2005 Aniplex set up A1-Pictures, its own Anime production studio, producing Anime such as Sword Art Online, Erased and Darling in the Franx and In 2017 SEI purchased Funimation.
Now Sony will add a further 70 million free and 3 million paid subscribers of Crunchyroll to its own Funimation subscribers, as they look to establish further control of the growing industry. The Anime industry has seen continuous growth in the last few years and Sony look set to reap the benefits with Funimation and Crunchyroll combined to more than half of the $19 Billion industry.
Netflix also made recent moves to increase it’s own Anime production with the streaming company striking deals with some of the top anime production studio’s including MAPPA, Studio Bones and Studio Mir.
The Great British Otaku