Sony is acquiring Crunchyroll and adding it to its global Funimation group
Sony Pictures has officially announced that it will acquire the Crunchyroll anime streaming service from AT&T for $1.175 billion USD.
In the announcement press release, Sony Pictures describes some current key statistics for Crunchyroll's user base, which totals 90 million users registered across 200 countries, with 3 million of those users paying for Crunchyroll Premium anywhere from $8 to $15 each month.
Sony states that merging Crunchyroll into FUNimation will "[provide] the opportunity to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers." No further details concerning how Crunchyroll will integrate into the existing Funimation structure, nor what will happen with the Crunchyroll-owned VRV, which is part of the transaction. This also calls HIDIVE and its inclusion in VRV into question.
Both Crunchyroll and Funimation emphasized in their respective announcement posts that, until the deal has been finalized and closed, each service will continue to operate independently as they have been.