AT&T announced yesterday that it’s promoting anime streaming service Crunchyroll to Sony’s Funimation for an acquisition worth of $1.18 billion.

In keeping with the announcement, Crunchyroll has 90 million registered customers and three million paying subscribers. The service began out in 2006 as a web site for fan-uploaded, fan-subtitled (and infrequently pirated) content material, but it surely has more and more develop into a house for formally licensed anime, together with video games, manga and merchandise.

Nevertheless, company guardian AT&T/WarnerMedia’s streaming technique now appears to be centered solely on its new HBO Max service. It’s shut down standalone streaming choices like FilmStruck whereas shifting DC Universe from streaming to digital comics.

In consequence, Funimation is more likely to be a greater match. It additionally focuses on anime distribution, with Sony acquiring a majority stake in 2017. The corporate is at the moment operated as a three way partnership between Sony Photos Leisure and Animplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Leisure.

“We’re proud to deliver Crunchyroll into the Sony household,” stated Sony Image Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra in an announcement. “By means of Funimation and our terrific companions at Aniplex and Sony Music Leisure Japan, we have now a deep understanding of this international artform and are well-positioned to ship excellent content material to audiences world wide. Along with Crunchyroll, we are going to create the absolute best expertise for followers and larger alternative for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere.”

The announcement additionally features a assertion from WarnerMedia Chief Income Officer Tony Goncalves, who stated he’s “extremely happy with the Crunchyroll crew and what they’ve been in a position to accomplish within the digital media house in such a brief time frame.”