Sony Completes Crunchyroll Acquisition Worth $1.175 Billion
The transaction, which was announced in December 2020, will give Crunchyroll and Funimation more resources to distribute their content offerings under Sony's management.
Sony has announced that after months of negotiations, the acquisition of anime streaming service Crunchyroll is complete. The service joins fellow anime entertainment company Funimation as an official subsidiary of Sony.
The buyout is worth a whopping $1.175 billion, according to a press release. With its newfound resources, Crunchyroll can broaden its reach by distributing its content through various Sony channels like PlayStation. Similarly, Funimation will also take advantage of Sony's deep resource bag. It remains unclear when the two anime streaming networks will ever merge.
Chairman, president, and CEO of Sony Group Corporation, Kenichiro Yoshida, said the company is excited to welcome Crunchyroll to Sony.
"Anime is a rapidly growing medium that enthralls and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe," Yoshida said. "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."
Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., said the buyout adds "tremendous value to Sony's existing anime business," reiterating that the company wants to create the ultimate anime experience.
"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 said. "Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible."
While the goal for Sony seems to be to create a unified subscription experience, it remains to be seen how Crunchyroll's acquisition impacts Funimation. With Sony now owning the two networks, though, competition amongst streaming services for where to watch anime is slowly dwindling. It's possible that Crunchyroll could either be linked alongside Funimation or be folded with the business, making its offerings all Funimation all the time.
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