Sony gets a KO with Crunchyroll
The Future. While many in the entertainment world thought Sony paid way too much for Crunchyroll in 2020 ($1.18 billion), it has turned out to be a steal. Now combined with Sony’s Funimation, Crunchyroll has become a moneymaker for the company, winning the love of both creators and audiences. Considering that anime fandom has become something of a lifestyle, Crunchyroll’s diverse offerings could put it at the center of the ecosystem worldwide.
Anime is here to stay
Crunchyroll has what every streamer wishes it did.
- A flywheel of offerings. It’s not just the biggest anime streamer in the world but is also the biggest theatrical distributor in North America. It also has a live-events division, a merch division, and upstart mobile gaming and music divisions.
- A tiered approach. Crunchyroll offers a free ad-supported version and three paid ones that range from $7.99 to $14.99, with the most expensive giving subscribers perks to all the flywheel offerings.
- A passionate fanbase. With 300 million fans, anime has become one of the most popular art forms in the world. Crunchyroll only has 10 million paid subscribers (and is already turning a profit), so there’s a lot of room for growth.
- Expanding reach. While Crunchyroll has its biggest following in the US and in the under-25 age group, popularity in every age cohort is growing, and the company will soon expand into the hot market of Southeast Asia.
While every major streamer is making moves to get into anime, Crunchyroll has some big advantages: its deals cover the whole flywheel of offerings, it shares revenue and data with creators, and Sony is a Japanese company, after all.
Everyone will have an anime division soon enough… but Crunchyroll is already ahead of the curve.AI appeases Wall Street, T-Mobile buys Mint Mobile, and Sony gets a KO with Crunchyroll.