Sony negotiating to buy Crunchyroll for $1 billion

Acteon

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So it looks like Sony will be the one to rule them all. Dunno how to feel about this one really - on the one hand I'll likely only need one anime-service subscription (and Funimation is installed on my HDTV, unlike CR, which makes it handy)

On the other hand, it makes me feel as though anime is about to go through a massive paradigm shift. Whether it'll be for better or worse, we'll have to see.
 

Robert Frazer

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I can't say I'm overly keen on the prospect of an anime monopoly, it's always nice to have a mix of different marques and badges on the shelf, I wouldn't want it all to become too samey. But still, I'm amazed at the amount of money being thrown around. Anime has always felt quite niche to me even in its biggest years in the Noughties, when you start talking about billions you start to appreciate the scale of the whole shebang!
 
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Robert88UK

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Yeah,
I'm a bit worried about this.
Sony owning Crunchyroll and Funimation may means that other than what Netflix get Sony will pretty much own anything.
Which is a bit worrying for anime physical releases here.
Worried for Anime Limited and MVM having less to work with for new releases
 

Acteon

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A lot of MVM's major franchises (including Fate and the Monogatari series) are Sony-owned properties, so I can absolutely see the room for competition dwindling if those return to the Sony mothership.

Looking into my crystal ball, I'd say MVM possibly has a finite lifespan anyway, it'll all depend on how long the owner wants to keep it going, but the company is very healthy financially and has a firm grip of it's catalogue. However I think Mr Allen will have an eye on retirement in the not too distant future. Anime Ltd has an alarming directors loan outstanding (doubling in the last year well into 6 digits) which is not a healthy sign at all. If they do survive, it'll likely be on their Gundam franchise deal, cheaper older licenses and prestige films like Your Name, which they are very good at. However with Shinkai's films all available on Netflix and the majority of the company's licenses sold to All 4, they'll need more than Screen Anime to keep going.

Physical releases are on the decline in the light of streaming services anyway, with Disney already halting production on 4K Fox distribution in order to increase subscribers to their streaming platforms.

So long term (say 10 years) my guess is we'll be seeing almost all physical releases coming through Manga Entertainment/Funimation, with streaming services like Netflix competing by creating their own IP, which has already started with the likes of Eden. So not only will anime distribution change, the nature of the medium itself will become globalised and more inclusive in a bid to build it into an even bigger juggernaut - like Robert Frazer says, $1 billion would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. But with manga books outselling US comics, it seems the future has a very Japanese feel to it.
 

Robert Frazer

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It may be inevitable that physical sales decline as the internet takeover marches ever on, but interestingly enough I got into a conversation with one of the shop staff at the HMV in Manchester Arndale last week and he told me that anime was actually the best-performing single category in his entire two-storey store. That genuinely surprised me - I suppose a "normie" who only watches whatever film are on the telly aren't too fussed about whether they're discs or streamed, but people with specialist interests are attached to their collectable media.