Sony owned Funimation has brought Crunchyroll from AT&T for the prize of $1.175 billion. With this the hold of media giant Sony on the anime streaming industry has further tightened. CRO of WarnerMedia‘s confirmed this by quoting “By combining with Funimation, they will continue to nurture a global community and bring more anime to more people.” With Crunchyroll’s 90 million users and 800 anime titles along with Funimation‘s 600 titles this may very well be the case.
Rumors about Funimation buying Crunchyroll was in the air from august of 2020 itself with the initial price being $1.5 billion. But we can see that AT&T has settled for 300 million less. What’s interesting is that all this development comes after the japans new anti-piracy laws and its decision to post anime episode through Youtube channels!. Also, Netflix is also stocking up on anime these days, may be the competition got too fierce? or maybe Sony wanted all that sweet sweet anime streaming money(most of which holds license to, outside of japan).
The Ad layout in Funimation is nothing short than a train wreck. Even some pirated anime sites have better navigation and layout than them. And the main selling point of Crunchyroll was extremely simple and intuitive interface which put viewer satisfaction above AdSense. It will be interesting to see what kind of Frankenstein would be born out of this. Whatever it may be, at least we’ll get to legally watch Naruto and Dragon Ball on the same platform.