Here in the west when you are looking forward to streaming your fave anime (well legally), you would usually opt for either Crunchyroll or Funimation. The two anime streaming giants have been often seen as major rivals, but there has always been an air of respect and support between the two. So much so, that a various anime series that are locked away on Funimation's service has won numerous awards at Crunchyroll's annual Anime Awards. However, it is a bit of a pain having a need to subscribe to two streaming services instead of one. Luckily, thanks to a new Sony buy-out of Crunchyroll that could change soon:
AT&T has announced that it will sell its Crunchyroll animation business to Funimation, which itself is owned by Sony. In a deal worth almost $1.2 billion, Crunchyroll, one of the leading anime streaming services will now be owned by the same company that owns Funimation.
"We are excited to embark on this new journey. Crunchyroll has built a world-class brand with a passionate fan-base of over 3M subscribers, 50M social followers and 90M registered users. These amazing fans have helped to propel anime into a global phenomenon,” said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll. "Combining the strength of the Crunchyroll brand and the expertise of our global team with Funimation is an exciting prospect and a win for the incredible art form of anime.”
In a separate statement from Funimation, company CEO Colin Decker says, “The union of Funimation and Crunchyroll is a win for anime fans around the world that will elevate the art and culture of this medium for decades to come. Combining these two great companies will be a win for fans and enable us to compete at a truly global scale.”
This is huge news for the anime industry and fans here in the West. However, it remains to be seen just how huge of an impact it will have on us, the viewers. On one hand, we will now have a much larger catalogue all in one place. But on the other hand, Sony now has a monopoly which may significantly hurt our pockets. Regardless, I may finally start watching My Hero Academia.
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Hey I am Marlon Mcfarlane the writer here at Blue Crescent Studio & a longtime lover of all things Animation & Gaming.