Sony has entered the final stage in negotiations regarding the acquisition of the anime streaming service Crunchyroll. In a report by Nikkei, it is estimated that Sony could potentially spend more than ¥100 billion (about $957 million) to acquire the service. [Thanks, Nikkei Business!]
It was reported in early August 2020 that AT&T was considering selling Crunchyroll. Founded in 2006, Crunchyroll was acquired by AT&T in 2018. While no potential buyer had been announced, Sony has stepped up to the plate. Crunchyroll won’t be the only anime streaming service Sony will have acquired if the deal goes through. In 2017 Sony had acquired anime distributor Funimation.
Popular franchises and titles are currently available to stream through Crunchyroll. This includes the Granblue Fantasy animated adaptation and series like One Piece, Boruto, Golden Kamui, and more. Recently, it was announced that an animated Shenmue adaptation would be made available through the service. Additionally, releases like Bleach spin-off Burn the Witch received a simultaneous release in Japan and North America through Crunchyroll. The streaming service currently has 70 million free members and over 3 million paying subscribers to the service in the North American and European regions.
Consumers can purchase Crunchyroll Premium for $7.99 a month, though a 14-day free trial is available. Certain shows are available to watch for free through the service with intermittent ads.