Sony is gearing up to acquire anime streaming service Crunchyroll, at least according to a new report out of Japan. The deal would reportedly involve a substantial sum of money, bolstering Sony’s anime offerings while scoring it around 70 million users. This deal would follow Sony’s 2017 acquisition of anime distributor Funimation.
The leak comes from Nikkei Asia, which reports that Sony has the exclusive right to negotiate for a potential acquisition, the value of which may exceed $950 million, the sources claim. Crunchyroll is based out of the US and boasts a large library of anime content, including a relatively new roster of original shows.
The anime market is as hot as ever with growing interest among streaming services like Netflix, which has released a number of its own original anime shows and movies in the past couple of years. Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll, should it happen, would make it a major contender in the streaming market, at least in the anime genre.
Of note, Sony would have the option of streaming its own anime shows like Demon Slayer rather than continuing to license the shows to other streaming platforms, a move that would likely increase the number of original anime content we see launch from companies like Netflix.
Crunchyroll is notable for its global subscriber base, as well as its millions of paying subscribers in addition to the free users. The service boasts a library of more than 1,000 movies and TV shows, and it recently expanded its platform to include premium features like offline downloads for those who are willing to pay.