This story was originally published and last updated .
Sony may not be great at selling smartphones, but it has been doing a pretty fine job of acquiring anime streaming companies. It bought Funimation in 2017, and now it looks like another deal might be closing soon that would bring Crunchyroll into the Sony stable at a price approaching one billion dollars.
Sony is reportedly prepared to put up an amount valued at more than $957 million for Crunchyroll, which may seem like a lot of money. After all, anime is terrible, right? Well, yes — but anime is also great! And Crunchyroll is arguably the biggest name in anime streaming outside of Japan, with over 70 million members around the world. Sony is already involved in the industry; it has helped produce stellar titles like March Comes In Like A Lion and The Promised Neverland through its Aniplex studio.
Competition between streaming companies is heating up, and not everyone can take the pressure. Streaming services need to attract young people, and young people are like, totally obsessed with anime. When HBO Max launched earlier this year, it partnered with Crunchyroll to stream select shows from its library. With the acquisition of Crunchyroll, Sony would gain access to more than 1,000 new titles that it could use to help gain increased space in a market that is expected to reach over 35 billion dollars by 2025.
AT&T has officially announced that it is selling Crunchyroll to the Funimation Global Group, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Sony Music subsidiary Aniplex Inc. The amount has also increased from when the deal was initially reported, with the official figure given as $1.175 billion. Funimation and Crunchyroll both deal in anime content and would appear to be an excellent fit. It's not yet clear what will happen to the branding when the two companies merge. As with all transactions of this magnitude, the acquisition is still subject to various regulatory approvals before it can go through, so it might be a while before anything changes significantly on the consumer end.
- Nikkei Asia