30 October 2020 16:33
The Tokyo-based electronics giant is reportedly going into the final round of negotiations to buy Crunchyroll. According to Nikkei Asia, the acquisition could cost Sony over 100 billion yen ($957 million). This comes as Sony obtained the exclusive right to negotiate for the popular anime streaming service. Up to now, Sony has been licensing its anime, such as the smash-hit Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, to other anime-steaming services. Adding Crunchyroll to its portfolio would put Sony in an even position to face off against Netflix and Hulu.
Advertisement Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 and now has 70 million free members and 3 million subscribers. AT&T became its parent company in 2018. Earlier this year, our colleagues at Gizmodo reported that AT&T was rumored to be looking to sell Crunchyroll to Sony for, at that time, $1.5 billion. In 2017, Sony Pictures Television acquired Funimation with a 95 percent controlling stake in the anime-streaming service. Sony will pay almost $1bn to acquire Crunchyroll, the hugely-popular anime-streaming service available through both Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
The PlayStation maker is in final negotiations to seal the deal with a $957m bid and is the only company in the running, Nikkei Asia reports. Sony already owns anime service Funanimation, which has a million subscribers, though this is dwarfed by Crunchyroll's three million subscribers and whopping 70m free members. Investing in animation right now makes sense - it is relatively cheap to produce compared to live-action series (which currently have their own logistical issues with filming during the pandemic). Oh, and everyone's at home watching streaming services. That value is reflected in the company's near-billion dollar value - although it's still nowhere near the $7.5bn Microsoft is paying for Bethesda.