Sony Now Owns Anime Site Crunchyroll

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Image: Crunchyroll

Having first been reported in October 2020, then begun in December 2020, Sony’s billion-dollar purchase of anime streaming site Crunchyroll has now been completed.

Sony’s Funimation announced the finalisation of the deal earlier today in a press release, with the final purchase price being a whopping $1.175 billion. It’s claimed Crunchyroll has “120 million registered users across more than 200 countries), and the deal means Sony now owns all of Crunchyroll’s offerings and services, from its anime streaming service to events merch to video games.

So what does this mean to users, rather than just shareholders? Plans for what Sony actually wants to do with all that anime are still pretty vague, and information like pricing changes or licensing agreements are likely a long way off.

One thing Sony did say, though, was that it plans to “create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible”

From the press release:

“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation. “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 adds tremendous value to Sony’s existing anime businesses, including Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. “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. 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.”

Funimation itself was only bought by Sony back in 2017 for $149 million. Now that Sony owns both it and Crunchyroll, it’ll be interesting to see just how much of a “unified anime subscription service” they can offer, considering the presence and popularity of series on services like Netflix and HBO Max.

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