Global entertainment giant Sony is in final negotiations to acquire U.S.-based anime streamer and producer Crunchyroll, according to a Friday report from Nikkei Asia.
The deal could see the Japanese company — which licenses its own titles from studio Aniplex to the platform, such as the super popular Demon Slayer — fork out more than 100 billion yen (~$957 million USD) and pick up Crunchyroll’s 70+ million American and international subscribers. The backing of Sony could make the anime-focused outlet a much stronger competitor in the streaming wars, which has seen Netflix especially invest strongly in acquisitions and originals in the genre.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 and was taken under telecom giant AT&T’s umbrella in 2018. It currently boasts 70 million free subscribers and 3 million pay subscribers in more than 200 countries and regions. Crunchyroll offers more than 1,000 titles, and has been accelerating production of Crunchyroll Originals, with Noblesse, TONIKAWA: Over the Moon for You and Onyx Equinox premiering this season alone.
Sony, which acquired U.S.-based anime distributor Funimation in 2017, recently secured the exclusive right to negotiate for Crunchyroll. Nikkei points out that the company is forecast to take in $4.8 billion in total operating income from games, music and movies or the fiscal year ending in March — 60% of the group total.
[Source: Nikkei Asia]