Deal brings leading anime content platform’s 3 million+ SVOD subscribers and 90 million registered users into the Sony entertainment fold.
AT&T has just announced an agreement to sell its leading anime content platform, Crunchyroll, to Funimation Global Group, LLC, for $1.175 billion. Funimation is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.’s subsidiary, Aniplex Inc.
Crunchyroll has been a considerable force in the global growth of anime; as part of WarnerMedia, the platform grew to more than 3 million SVOD subscribers, serving 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories by offering AVOD, mobile games, manga, events, merchandise, and distribution.
According to Crunchyroll general manager Joanne Waage, "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. 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.”
“The Crunchyroll team has done an extraordinary job of not only growing the Crunchyroll brand but also building a passionate community of anime fans,” said Tony Goncalves, Chief Revenue Officer, WarnerMedia. “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.”
Funimation currently provides streaming, home entertainment, theatrical and broadcast distribution, and merchandise licensing in many international territories. Funimation’s streaming services offer a growing catalog of over 700 anime series and 13,000+ hours of content available on 15 platforms and in 49 countries; it operates nine offices in six countries, with hundreds of employees worldwide.
“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “Through Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, we have a deep understanding of this global artform 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.”
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.