Industry News

Sony has yet to win Anime fans to its post-Crunchyroll strategy, but opportunities remain strong

25 August, 2021

Sony Pictures Entertainment announced earlier this month that it had completed its $1.18 billion purchase of anime streaming company Crunchyroll from AT&T, but it has done little to calm the nerves of the anime genre’s most dedicated supporters.

“Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible,” said SPE chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra in a statement. He gave no details of how or when Crunchyroll would be merged with Funimation, a similar streamer that SPE already owns, nor of how the Sony Group might enable anime streaming through its PlayStation gaming consoles.

Fans and industry insiders have expressed a range of concerns, such as the threat of jobs cuts for Funimation and Crunchyroll employees, or increased pressure on Japanese animators to tone down their work for Western consumption.

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