Today, it was revealed that Sony’s Funimation Global Group is purchasing Crunchyroll from Warner Media/AT&T for an approximate $1.175 billion USD (about $1.503 billion CAD), a move that consolidates two of the world’s largest anime streaming platforms under one roof.
Sony, through a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, had bought Texas-based Funimation (office pictured above) back in 2017. The group was founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga to license Japanese shows in North America, notably Akira Toriyama’s popular Dragon Ball franchise.
Other anime-related companies under Sony’s umbrella include Aniplex, A-1 Pictures, CloverWorks, Australia-based Madman Anime Group and streaming service AnimeLab which it obtained in February 2019.
San Francisco-based Crunchyroll has a global presence with more than 90 million users and 3 million paid subscribers, was founded in 2006. The company has offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Lausanne, Paris, and Berlin.
The acquisition would also include mobile games developer Crunchyroll Games and the former Viz Media Europe properties Kazé, Anime on Demand, Anime Digital Network, and AV Visionen which Crunchyroll picked up from Viz Media in December 2019.
Funimation and Crunchyroll had previously partnered together to share a number of anime licenses on their platforms before going separate ways in late 2018.
The acquisition is still subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions according to a press release from Sony Pictures Entertainment.
No details were released if either streaming platform would be absorbed or kept as separate entities.
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