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Sony Look Set To Buy Crunchyroll

On the 30th of October Nikkei Asia reported that Sony are currently in final negotiations to purchase the anime streaming site, Crunchyroll. Sony had already managed to negotiate exclusive bidding rights for the anime streaming giant currently owned by AT&T and are now believed to be on the verge of finalising the deal worth approximately 1 Billion dollars.

Sony already own the anime streaming service Funimation, which boasts around 1 Million subscribers mainly in the USA but this is dwarfed by Crunchyroll’s 3 Million paid subscribers and 70 million free users around the world. AT&T became the parent company of Crunchyroll in 2018 and it has been reported that the American telecommunications company had been looking to off load the streaming service for quite some time. It’s being reported that they originally asked Sony for 1.5 billion earlier this summer, a deal Sony thought was to much.

Anime has become a hot commodity for streaming services, in 2018 the global anime industry was estimated to be worth $21 Billion, 1.5 times what it was 5 years prior and despite the global affect of Covid 19 on the anime industry it has showed quick signs of recovery. Netflix recently singed more new deals with anime studios across Japan and Korea and also recently announced 14 new original anime for 2021, including High Rise Invasion coming this February 2021. Sony also own the massively popular Demon Slayer anime franchise, that is currently smashing box office records in Japan despite strict social distancing restrictions.

With Sony aquiring Crunchyroll the competition between the streaming companies to license and produce anime is only set to intensify. With the purchase Sony will add over 1000 anime to it’s library including several Crunchyroll original anime. It is unclear at this time if Sony will look to merge both Funimation and Cruchyroll under one service. However it is clear that Sony are making Anime a cornerstone of its streaming entertainment services as they look to add more content to compete with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus as well as many others.

The Great British Otaku

Andrew More

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