What will happen to Crunchyroll?
Crunchyroll will continue its commitment to anime and its fans, now under Sony Funimation Global Group. ... Sony first announced it was acquiring Crunchyroll from AT&T at the end of 2020. At the time, the service said it had 3 million subscribers and over 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries. EngadgetSony closes $1.175 billion deal to buy Crunchyroll from AT&T
10 August, 2021 - 04:25pm
Sony’s gaming subscription service, PlayStation Plus, has lost subscribers and active users since COVID restrictions have begun to lift. PlayStation Plus lost 1.3 million subscribers in its last quarter, a notable decline given Sony’s recent success with the service. In Spring 2021 the gaming company reported that there were 47.6 million PlayStation Plus subscribers have since dropped off, which could be setting off alarms for Sony. In an effort to combat that loss fans await further improvements to the subscription service akin to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. Sony’s recent acquisition could be the answer.
As reported by EuroGamer, Sony plans may include the addition of Crunchyroll to its PlayStation Plus subscription service. The anime platform would hike the PS Plus price a bit, per the report, though it was said that players would get to choose which offer to subscribe to. Sony executive Tony Vinciquerra said that “with Crunchyroll and Funimation, we are committed to creating the ultimate anime experience for fans… 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.” Those audiences may include PlayStation owners, specifically PlayStation Plus subscribers.
It isn’t clear what the price difference will be, though it’s possible that Sony will take the current paid Crunchyroll subscriber into consideration when drawing up a price tag. Sony will need to make it worthwhile for players to tack on the anime service on their already expensive PlayStation Plus subscription. Anime and gamer fans may unite once and for all on the PlayStation 5.
10 August, 2021 - 09:58am
Sony’s Funimation Global Group has purchased Crunchyroll from AT&T, eight months after announcing its intention to do so. The deal merges the two biggest dedicated anime streamers in the U.S., placing Sony in pole position in a fast-growing market.
The purchase price is $1.175 billion, subject to customary working capital and other adjustments, as previously announced. AT&T expects to use the money to pay off some of its copious debt.
News of the acquisition broke in December, after months of rumors. The sale then hit a snag when the U.S. Department of Justice reportedly extended its antitrust review. The prospect of consolidation not only alerted the government but also alarmed many fans, who worried that it will hurt the anime industry by reducing the number of buyers.
Crunchyroll has five million paid users and over 120 million registered users across 200 countries. It also produces originals, publishes news, hosts a forum, organizes events, and more. Funimation streams a catalogue of over 700 series across 49 countries, and has distributed and marketed six of the top 20 anime films in the U.S.
It remains to be seen exactly how the two companies are integrated. In a statement, Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said: “Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.”
Sony and its anime subsidiary Aniplex have spent the last five years on an anime acquisition spree, snapping up France’s Wakanim, Australia’s Madman Anime, then Funimation itself (buying a 95% stake in the company for $143 million). In 2019, all three were merged under the Funimation name.
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Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.