Crunchyroll is among the internet’s most popular niche streamers. Sony wants to buy it.

Do not sleep on anime.


November 9, 2020

Here’s an underrated part of the internet: niche streaming services.

Among the deep cuts:

  • BroadwayHD (“stream your favorite broadway hits anywhere”)
  • Shudder (B-movie horrors… not our bag, but popular)
  • Passionflix (an “erotica Netflix” founded by Elon’s sister, Tosca Musk)

But the biggest fish in the niche pond might be Crunchyroll, a Japanese anime streaming platform owned by AT&T that boasts 70m members.

The pandemic has reshaped the media landscape

Facing a massive $149B debt load, AT&T is looking to unload non-core assets. Crunchyroll is on the chopping block, alongside pay-TV operations like DIRECTV.

Sony, on the other hand, is looking to sell 100m units of its new PS5, and wants to beef up its content.

Per Reuters, a deal between AT&T and Sony is entering “final talks” at a price of ~$1B.

Sony just scored a massive anime hit

The anime film Demon Slayer is crushing Japan’s box office. It’s pulled in $150m+ in 3 weeks despite an awful year for theater releases.

Sony is the parent company of Demon Slayer’s studio — and clearly its appetite has been whet for more anime magic.

(Crunchyroll was featured in our popular Trends report, “30 Companies Defining The Future of Media and Pop Culture.” Check out an abridged version here.)

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