SONY VS AT&T WINNER GETS CRUNCHYROLL

FTPC

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SONY VS AT&T WINNER GETS CRUNCHYROLL

What You Need to Know:
  • It was reported on The Information today that Sony is in talks to purchase Crunchyroll from WarnerMedia for around $1.5 Billion USD.
  • According to The Information, Crunchyroll would be added to Sony's anime empire along with its current anime streaming service, Funimation, and its anime production/licensing company Aniplex. According to The Information, the price tag is "well above recent values for other niche streaming services."
  • Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 and is now known as "the world’s most popular anime brand that connects anime and manga fans in more than 200 countries and territories with 360-degree experiences".
  • This report comes at a time when WarnerMedia has laid off hundreds of employees affecting various of their properties like DC Entertainment and HBO. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is aiming to reduce debt and expenses by selling assets that aren't core to the company's business and wants to focus on HBO Max, their new streaming service, which currently offers content from Warner Bros., DC, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Crunchyroll among many other companies not focused on anime.

Sony Looking to Buy Crunchyroll for $1.5 Billion!

AT&T Wants $1.5 Billion in Crunchyroll Sale to Sony
 

LinusFan303

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I think it would be bad to have Funimation and Crunchyroll together, because there could be a chance the pool of money is less because it's one company's funding instead of different companies and might lead to less series being picked up.
 

ms78

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Sony already has Funimation. Aside from making anime licensing/streaming less complicated I'd rather they stay separate.

If Sony goes through with this it will be because Crunchyroll has a worldwide audience while Funimation is limited to about 5-10 countries. If Sony's plan was to make FunimationNow a worldwide brand like Crunchyroll then they might a well buy Crunchyroll while it is available. Besides Sony is the only one of the large media companies that I trust not to screw up Crunchyroll after purchasing.
 

PicardMan

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I do worry about Crunchyroll being like Funimation and putting up paywalls. With Crunchyroll, they only have the most recent episodes paywalled. Funimation paywalls much more content. I worry if Sony buys Crunchyroll, it will follow the Funimation model and begin permanetly paywalling shows. I was hoping with the pandemic that Funimation would try the Crunchyroll model, but it appears everything but the first two episodes of shows are paywalled. At least Fire Force season 2 will have a Toonami airing so that can (eventually in October) be watched without worrying about the Funimation paywall.
 

Daikun

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If Sony buys Crunchyroll, what will happen to VRV and Ellation Studios? Those are all interconnected. Will WM sell them too?
 

Yojimbo

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First of all, what's the hierarchy? Is it this:

AT&T owns
-WarnerMedia who owns
--Otter Media who owns
---Ellation who owns
----Crunchyroll, VRV, and Ellation Studios

Would Crunchyroll, VRV, and Ellation Studios be a package deal or would they be divested and sold separately? Does Ellation own Ellation Studios no matter what and will keep making anime for Crunchyroll after such a sale?
 

Mandouga

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I do worry about Crunchyroll being like Funimation and putting up paywalls. With Crunchyroll, they only have the most recent episodes paywalled. Funimation paywalls much more content. I worry if Sony buys Crunchyroll, it will follow the Funimation model and begin permanetly paywalling shows. I was hoping with the pandemic that Funimation would try the Crunchyroll model, but it appears everything but the first two episodes of shows are paywalled. At least Fire Force season 2 will have a Toonami airing so that can (eventually in October) be watched without worrying about the Funimation paywall.

The scary part is, Crunchyroll actually tried that once. Cardcaptor Sakura was released this way at first, with everything but the first episode (sub and dub*) or so premium only. To me, this felt like nothing more than a glorified commercial for the home video release (it comes from NIS America), but now every episode, plus, both movies, I think, can now be seen by free members. I think the original (pre-Shippuden) Naruto is or was this way as well, but I'm not sure.

For those who may not know, the dub is NOT "that" version (thank goodness for that!), it's the dub that aired on Animax in Asian countries.
 

RegularCapital

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First of all, what's the hierarchy? Is it this:

AT&T owns
-WarnerMedia who owns
--Otter Media who owns
---Ellation who owns
----Crunchyroll, VRV, and Ellation Studios

Would Crunchyroll, VRV, and Ellation Studios be a package deal or would they be divested and sold separately? Does Ellation own Ellation Studios no matter what and will keep making anime for Crunchyroll after such a sale?

Ellation was renamed Crunchyroll, Ellation is in fact now a sub-brand of Crunchyroll and only refers to their team based in Moldova that focuses on Software Development for the streaming service. Ellation Studios is now under Crunchyroll and is now named Crunchyroll Studios and VRV is directly under Crunchyroll. https://www.crunchyroll.com/about/index.html

Crunchyroll also mostly owns what was Viz Media Europe, of which the Moldovian Ellation team is now under (also Kaze and some other European brands), the Viz Europe Manga licensing division was spun off last December which is 100% owned by Viz. The CR team in Paris (ex-Viz) seems to be handling business relations for the company. https://twitter.com/CrunchyrollBiz
 

Takao

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I do worry about Crunchyroll being like Funimation and putting up paywalls. With Crunchyroll, they only have the most recent episodes paywalled. Funimation paywalls much more content. I worry if Sony buys Crunchyroll, it will follow the Funimation model and begin permanetly paywalling shows. I was hoping with the pandemic that Funimation would try the Crunchyroll model, but it appears everything but the first two episodes of shows are paywalled. At least Fire Force season 2 will have a Toonami airing so that can (eventually in October) be watched without worrying about the Funimation paywall.

Everything but simulcasts have been paywall-only in Canada on CR for years now. The fact that they didn't expand that to other countries suggests it probably wasn't a big boom to subscription rates.
 

TheVileOne

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I know we're in America, and oligopolies and monopolies aren't really frowned upon, but wouldn't this be a potential antitrust violation?
 

LinusFan303

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I know we're in America, and oligopolies and monopolies aren't really frowned upon, but wouldn't this be a potential antitrust violation?
They could do it like Sirius XM merger, saying that that they compete against Itunes, AM/FM and internet radio.... here it could be done like "well there's Disney Plus, Hulu, Netflix, etc, we aren't the biggest streaming share and if we merge we could be more robust than currently" are some played out lines that have worked before.
 

TheVileOne

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They could do it like Sirius XM merger, saying that that they compete against Itunes, AM/FM and internet radio.... here it could be done like "well there's Disney Plus, Hulu, Netflix, etc, we aren't the biggest streaming share and if we merge we could be more robust than currently" are some played out lines that have worked before.
I suppose. It still makes me a little uneasy.
 

Yojimbo

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I'd prefer to see WarnerMedia keep it and leverage Crunchyroll to their advantage like boosting HBO Max's standing against the streaming service competition. Without anime and Crunchyroll's user base, they can't hold a candle to Netflix or Prime who have probably invested millions in anime already. It's easy math but apparently not to Jason Kilnar. And I doubt Sony has a billion to buy it anyway.
 
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TheMisterManGuy

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Sony already has Funimation. Aside from making anime licensing/streaming less complicated I'd rather they stay separate.

I think it'll depend on where within Sony Crunchyroll ends up at. Sony is made up of multiple distinct entities that function more or less independently. Funimation currently is owned by Sony Pictures Television, while Aniplex falls under Sony Music Japan.
 

ms78

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I think it'll depend on where within Sony Crunchyroll ends up at. Sony is made up of multiple distinct entities that function more or less independently. Funimation currently is owned by Sony Pictures Television, while Aniplex falls under Sony Music Japan.

It looks like this may be changing.

Sony's Anime Plans
 

Yojimbo

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Welp. I was wrong. Funimation, Aniplex, Crunchyroll. Now they have a paid streaming service essentially and a bigger place in the streaming wars. This means they wouldn't have to license their anime like Demon Slayer to other streaming sites. But it also means Sony might use Crunchyroll to stream their movies and music, effectively changing it from being an anime streaming service.
 

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