Update: Crunchyroll has confirmed to ANN, that Ellation’s VRV bundle streaming service was included in Sony’s acquisition. Meaning VRV is now also a part of Sony.
Original Article: It’s official now, the Japanese tech giant, Sony’s Funimation Global Group now completely owns two popular anime streaming services Crunchyroll as well as Funimation, as it has completed the $1.175 acquisition of Crunchyroll.
The acquisition, first announced in late 2020, did not reveal how the merger will work or any updated subscription plans. The announcements made by companies involved are promising with Crunchyroll’s stating,
“The two brands you know and love will be working together, and we believe this is a great thing for fans and the industry, alike! Both teams are knowledgeable, passionate, and have been committed to the anime community for decades. We couldn’t ask for better partners.”
While Funimation’s announcement suggests,
“Our first priority is you, the millions of fans who form the global community that is anime. And now we have the opportunity to create a unified anime subscription experience that puts fans first, offering the most comprehensive lineup ever. There’s a lot to do, so the work begins today to make it happen!”.
Sony comments on the acquisition,
“It provides the opportunity for Crunchyroll and Funimation to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.”
While anime fans are worried that the deal will give Sony supremacy over its peers in anime distribution and streaming in the west. This unprecedented authority might affect Crunchyroll’s other partnerships which include a partnership with VIZ Media to distribute licensed titles by electronic sell-through and home videos, Microsoft’s free access subscription to Xbox Game Pass.
Now their only contender is Netflix which is trying to acquire herds of viewers by investing in renowned series such as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Pokémon.
Tony Vinciquerra, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s chairman and CEO on completing the $1.175 BN acquisition said,
“Crunchyroll adds tremendous value to Sony’s existing anime businesses, including Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan.”
While Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO, Sony Group Corp, welcomed the deal with the statement,
“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.”