It’s Official: Sony Has Bought Crunchyroll

Sony has officially announced that they have completed the acquisition of the anime streaming service Crunchyroll after almost a year of speculation.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc announced today in a press release that it has finally acquired the anime streaming giant Crunchyroll. It was rumoured back in August 2020 that Sony would purchase Crunchyroll from AT&T. Then, a few months later in December, AT&T confirmed that they were in talks with Sony to sell them Crunchyroll.

Image Credit – MAPPA

The Details Of The Buyout

According to the Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tony Vinciquerra, the plan was to combine Crunchyroll with Sony’s already acquired Funimation. According to him, they did this to “deliver outstanding content to audiences around the world”. Vinciquerra also reasoned that by purchasing the anime streaming platform, they would create “the best possible experience for fans and greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere.”

Back in 2020, people had speculated the buyout would cost Sony $1 billion. Sony has now confirmed that it will cost $1.175 billion. Crunchyroll currently sits at 5 million paying subscribers, with over 120 million people registered with the site. Chairman, President and CEO of the Sony Group Corporation, Kenichrio Yoshida, had the following to say:

“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group […] 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.”

Kenichiro Yoshida ~ Sony Group Corporation

What Does This Mean For Crunchyroll

What this ultimately means for the streaming service is unclear. Whether or not prices will change or what licences will remaining with the platform is still undecided. However, there is an additional piece of intrigue at the end of the press release. Vinciquerra confirms that Sony’s ultimate goal is to “create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.”