Sony is close to striking an acquisition deal with US anime subscription service Crunchyroll, according to a report from Nikkei Asia today. The purchase is expected to cost Sony somewhere in the region of 100 billion yen ($957 million) in exchange for the service’s 70 million members and 1,000 anime titles.
It’s a move that could position Sony as a competitor with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, a battleground that’s expected to hot up considerably as COVID-19 continues to keep people at home and searching for digital entertainment.
Nikkei offers some key figures relevant to the potential acquisition in its report:
- Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 and has its headquarters in San Francisco. In 2018, AT&T, the U.S. telecommunications giant, became its parent company.
- Crunchyroll has 70 million free members and 3 million paying subscribers in more than 200 countries and regions, including the U.S. and Europe.
- Nikkei cites Sony’s total operating income from games, music and movies is forecast to reach $4.79 billion for the fiscal year ending March, accounting for 60% of the group total.
- According to The Association of Japanese Animations, the global anime market in 2018 was worth about $21 billion, 1.5 times that of five years earlier. The overseas market accounts for nearly half of total demand.
Sony is set to launch its PlayStation 5 console in less than a month, which is expected to further solidify the gaming segment of the company as its largest.