Based on current reports, the PlayStation manufacturer Sony is currently about to take over the streaming provider Crunchyroll. The purchase price should be the equivalent of over $950m.
Not only in the video game market, Sony wants to cause a sensation with the PlayStation 5 soon, because the company is also planning an acquisition in the streaming market. According to a report by the Nikkei Asia site, the Japanese company is currently about to take over the video-on-demand provider Crunchyroll. The streaming service, which is currently still owned by the media company AT&T, specializes in anime productions and is one of the world’s most successful providers in this industry.
As it is known, the negotiations between Sony and AT&T, to which the Japanese group secured the exclusive rights, are currently in the final phase. Allegedly, the PlayStation manufacturer is willing to pay 100 billion yen (about $950m) for the takeover of Crunchyroll. Should the deal be closed, it would suddenly and massively improve Sony’s position in the anime market. The VoD service currently has over 70 million users worldwide (via Crunchyroll).
Sony currently has three anime distributors with Funimation, Madman Anime Group and WAKANIM and an anime-specialized studio with Aniplex (Demon Slayer). The company most recently acquired a majority stake in Funimation for 143 million US dollars in 2017. With the VoD service Crunchyroll, founded in 2016, Sony could expand its portfolio to include the rights to over 1000 anime series. So far, however, neither Crunchyroll nor Sony have officially confirmed the ongoing negotiations.
Sony announced in August of this year that it intends to invest more in anime in the future. More precisely, this area should be expanded to become the fourth major pillar of the company after video games, music and films. In the future, there should always be overlaps between the individual pillars, for example in the form of the announced Demon Slayer video game, which the studio CyberConnect2 (Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot) is developing exclusively for the PlayStation 4.