Sony Corp to Buy AT&T’s Animation Business for $1.175 Billion
By: Ashwathy Nair
- The focus is towards beefing up its content of entertainment and distribution businesses.
- Access to Crunchyroll’s 3 million paying subscribers will be given to Sony.
- To help Sony more globally with entertainment giants such as Netflix.
An AT&T Inc’s animation business Crunchyroll is going to be bought by Sony Corp for $1.175 billion. The aim of the Japanese electronic is to strengthen up its entertainment content and distribution businesses.
The deal would offer Sony access to the 3 million paying subscribers of Crunchyroll in more than 200 countries and regions, allowing Sony to compete with entertainment giants such as Netflix more globally.
A U.S. animation distributor, Sony’s Funimation Global Group with paying subscribers of 1 million will have possession of Crunchyroll, which is currently a part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia segment.
In June, since CEO John Stankey took over, AT&T has been looking forward to monetizing its non-core assets. Including content creation and gaming, the latest deal that occurred will permit to invest in other focuses of WarnerMedia.
Despite the loyal following of Crunchyroll amongst anime fans, AT&T thought that the anime streaming service HBO Max desires to pursue – was too niche for the larger audience.
Gaming and entertainment businesses are being boosted by Sony under the strategy of Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida in order to raise recurrent revenue sources that buffer the effect of unpredictable hardware sales cycles.
Funimation was bought by Sony for about $143 million in the year 2017.
Recently, the animation industry thrived on the record-breaking success of the Japanese animated movie “Demon Slayer” – co-distributed by Aniplex Inc., which is a music unit of Sony. In early 2021, the film will make its way to the United States. It will be distributed by Funimation, that is now jointly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Aniplex.