Crunchyroll, Sony Corporation OLD to Sony?! Sony Could Basically OWN the Anime Industry!
This is neon and i hate to say i told you so, but we told you so uh we told you this was probably going to happen. Crunchyroll is being sold to sony for a lot more money than i thought they would get 957 million dollars, that’s almost a billion bucks. Why is sony paying that? Much for crunchyroll uh we’re gon na talk about that, but we had a lot of people this morning. Tag us in on twitter saying that yeah it’s it’s finally happening – and i remember when we started talking about this last year – that warner would either sell off crunchyroll or roll crunchyroll into hbo max the version we heard last year was they were looking at just kind Of combining all their animation studios into one entity, but as their financial situation got worse, it became clear that they were interested in just selling off crunchyroll, completely and uh. In fact, they were talking about selling crunchyroll off before the pandemic and the pandemic sidelined those plans. Uh now it looks like things are being finalized and sony is the buyer. So thank you to everyone who uh sent us a tip this morning. It’S appreciated so let’s get into the uh the actual story. This is coming from nikkei asia, sony nears acquisition of us anime streaming service, crunchyroll entertainment giant, could pay more than 950 million as talks wind up with parent at t we’re going to talk about that because at t just laid thousands of people off there are thousands More jobs to be shed at warner, media um.
They just had the guy who was in charge of of harry potter over at warner. He stepped down. They put warner brothers in charge of creating hbo max cartoon content. That will be run on hbo max first and then it will be put on the cartoon network as like sloppy seconds so there’s a lot going on over there and crunchyroll of course, was going to be a casualty because it’s not a core business asset to at T they don’t want to be in the business of of uh being an anime streamer. So here we go uh direct from the uh, the horse’s mouth. Here i guess, coming from a reliable source, sony has entered into final negotiations to acquire u.s anime streaming service. Crunchyroll nikkei learned on friday a deal that could catapult the japanese icon into a global battle with the likes of netflix and for anime yeah um anyway. Sony could end up spending more than a hundred billion yen, 957 million on the us streamer gaining at 70 million members around the world. Not subscribers not subscribers, they don’t have they. Don’T have 70 million subscribers. They have 70 million signups. Maybe i think they only have like what was it 10 million paying customers i’m, not sure, but it’s not it’s, not nearly it’s, not nearly that number uh sony has its own popular anime, like demon slayer, which killed at the box office. It was over 100 million dollars like last week.
I think nine days in japan alone and it made a hundred million dollars so they’re going to take that demon, slayer money and go buy crunchyroll. I guess but it’s been licensing it to its streaming services. Sony’S anaplex, the studio behind demon slayer, has a variety of content, including movies and music, that is mainly distributed by overseas companies. If the acquisition is realized, global competition for content among companies like netflix and hulu will intensify they’ll yeah they’ll be a one one: stop shop for anime they’ll, basically be an anime monopoly and a monop and a monopoly, maybe that’s what they’ll call it, because i have A feeling that they’re probably going to merge if this goes through, maybe they’ll call it funny crunch crunchy, fun, crunchy fun would be good. Crunchy fun would be good. Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 and has its headquarters in san francisco, not for much longer. We’Ll talk about that in 2018, at t the u.s telecommunications giant became its parent company. Sony recently obtained the exclusive rights to negotiate for crunchyroll after acquiring funimation. The anime distributor in 2017 sony gained a million paying subscribers mainly in the us, but came up against obstacles. Expanding this customer base, so yeah funimation pulled its content from crunchyroll. I remember this: they had a very acrimonious split and now they’re, coming back with papasoni and they’re gon na they’re gon na buy out crunchyroll and make crunchyroll their is basically what’s. Gon na happen.
Crunchyroll would also give sony more than a thousand titles they can use to vary its offerings. Sony’S total operating income from games, music and movies is forecasted to reach 4.79 billion for the fiscal year ending in march accounting for 60 of the group total. The company, once known for trinitron tvs and walkman personal stereos, has grown into an entertainment colossus that plans to strengthen this side of its business by building on crunchyroll’s membership base. With the coronavirus, convincing people around the world to entertain themselves at home, demand for video distribution services is swelling and competition for popular content is intensifying netflix, the largest streamers, forming alliances with animation studios. This is true. Netflix is really looking to beef up its animation um. You know they’re they’re, talking they’re gon na do six animated feature films per year. A lot of those movies are being done by former disney staff and uh they’re. Also, making alliances with anime studios right now and disney last year, took his popular library and began his own streaming service. They do not seem that interested in animation over at disney anymore, which is very, very ironic. They are doing some animation for disney channel they’ve got amphibia and al house, but it does not look like they’re interested in doing all the animated content that netflix and hbo max are doing. Netflix and hbo max are creating all kinds of original content for their streaming platforms. Disney’S just like let’s do some marvel stuff.
Let’S do some star wars, stuff, eventually, let’s dump movies onto our platform that we can’t release in the theaters. You know they’re not really as serious about animation as their competitors are, which is going to cost them. I guarantee you it’s going to cost them. According to the association of japanese animation, the global anime market in 2018 was worth about 21 billion dollars 1.5 times. That of five years earlier, yeah anime is blowing up the overseas market accounts for nearly half of that total demand. So there are a couple of things here: well let’s let’s, look here and see. If kotaku kotaku’s got any um, they don’t really have much on it. They just talked about uh. Oh earlier this year, our colleagues at gizmodo reported that att was rumored to be looking to sell. No, no, no, no, no, it came from the information and it came from youtube uh. Actually, i think we might have been the first channel to report it, but i digress whatever whatever it’s all secondhand news right, um, so here’s here’s, the thing sony is sensor. Happy now you know, to put it mildly, a lot of their video games. That is a concern. Um very concerned that they’re gon na have watered down anime. Now the flip side of that is, you know. Demon slayer is pretty damn good. Uh shield hero is pretty damn good and that’s on crunchyroll, but i don’t know how that’s going to be if that’s going to be censored or how how that’s going to work, but basically this is going to give sony pretty much a monopoly on anime uh worldwide.
I mean netflix is trying to compete, but i mean you put crunchyroll and funimation together and you, you know, really push this thing on. You know: ps5 uh, it’s they’re pretty much going to own anime at this point, so i don’t know how people feel about that. I am concerned about censorship uh for sure i think that it’s not good. I think we need to have some competition again. Netflix is going to offer them competition, but let’s talk about what could potentially happen. This is, this is uh crunchyroll’s office in san francisco, and i i checked out this building because i’m, like god that building’s got to be huge. I used to live near san francisco and i can’t imagine what they’re paying him rent every month or if they bought the building leasing it, but they basically have their own their own animate festival. Anime con inside this office building, i think that’s going to go away. I could be wrong, but i think what could potentially happen – and this is going to be catastrophic, for the employees working at both of these companies is the the most logical thing to do would be to just combine uh. You know both of these these streaming services into one anime streaming service and again a lot of people are going to lose their jobs over this i can guarantee it. A lot of people are going to lose their jobs over this because you don’t need to have two teams of people, and, frankly, funimation has the better currently has the better app.
I think the crunchyroll app crashes, all the damn time so it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens again. If this is finalized, something could happen and it could fall through. But you know warner. Media is absolutely looking to get rid of as many assets as they can at this point. They said before they don’t have any sacred cows, they’re, laying off people massive massive amounts of people in every division across warner. They had um their one president stepped down. Who was responsible for shepherding harry potter, he’d been there for, like 30 years, he’s gone they’re restructuring how all their cartoon content is created. Again, cartoon network is probably just going to get the the leftovers from hbo max and we do think they’re coming for rooster teeth too i’ve been saying this for over a year now i know everybody gets pissed every time i mention it, but rooster teeth is not A core asset and frankly, if crunchyroll can get gone, rooster teeth can get gone a lot easier than crunchyroll they’re, not gon na go for nearly as much money. I don’t think they’re gon na even sell rooster teeth. I think at this point they would just they would probably just roll them into cartoon network studios. Uh keep ruby, keep gen lock and call it a day, but get rid of all the other stuff, because it doesn’t make sense. Uh crunchyroll is much more valuable to them than than rooster teeth is so this also kind of explains why we haven’t seen high guardian spice doesn’t it because there were all these talks about uh.
You know them selling and it seems like a lot of the originals. Not the webtoon ones, but the other homegrown originals are sort of in limbo. At this point – and we know high guardian spice exists – can verify for 100 that, yes, it exists. At least a pilot exists, they’ve also wrapped production on it. They wrapped production months ago, but the pilot, the show whatever is missing. It has not appeared on crunchyroll at all, and the reason this show was so controversial beyond the fact that it was, you know, hitting you upside the head with uh diversity and inclusion and not showing you what the actual cartoon looked like right. It was all like you know, look how diverse our team is. We’Re not going to show you any clips or anything, but trust us it’s gon na be great because diversity um that money that subscriber money was supposed to go to paying japanese animators more. So this really rubbed people the wrong way. They’Re like wait, you’re taking this money, we thought that the existing animators would get more money and you’re you’re going in funding new projects like this. So you know, who knows so i don’t know if elation is part of this deal or not, because crunchyroll and elation are i’d, have to look and see exactly what the relationship are, but they’re they’re pretty closely tied together so i’m, not sure what happens here, but Uh even comic book resources, which i think their audience would probably be the target audience for this thing.
They’Re even like you know it it’s a mixed bag. You know other than diversity. We don’t really know what to say. We have a lot of new people. A lot of unknowns working on this and we’re going to give them millions of dollars, but that’s the animation industry right now, isn’t it western animation. We did a video last night talking about that, but for some reason, we’ve got all these tumblr artists that don’t have a lot of experience being put in charge of like multi million dollar shows, and sometimes it works and a lot of times it doesn’t work. So i don’t know uh, maybe we’ll finally see high guardian spice, though maybe they’ll, maybe they’ll, put a high guardian spice theme on the playstation 5.. Maybe they’ll have a high guardian spice edition of the playstation 5. wouldn’t that be exciting. End sarcasm, alright, so i’m going to wrap this one up guys again. Thank you to there were a lot of you who sent us this news. Thank you very much for that. But there you go.