WarnerMedia Selling Crunchyroll Anime Streamer To Other Buyers
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WarnerMedia Shopping around Anime Streaming Service Crunchyroll To Various Buyers

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BY August 22, 2020

Crunchyroll is a popular anime streaming site that we at Comic Years are huge fans of. One of the leading anime streaming sites out there, Crunchyroll recently got into the original content arena with their Crunchyroll Originals lineup. Their new anime series Tower Of God and God Of High School are doing incredibly well with weekly releases. But with their recent restructuring, and other internal problems it looks like the possibility of WarnerMedia selling Crunchyroll anime streamer is very high.

Crunchyroll Streaming Owned By AT&T

WarnerMedia selling Crunchyroll anime streamer ATT. Image via AT&T.

The Crunchyroll streaming service is actually owned by Otter Media, which is a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, part of the larger AT&T. It’s complicated, but basically image a Russian nesting doll. Crunchyroll is one of the biggest anime streamers in the market, yet it is now in the unfortunate position of competing against HBO Max. The new merger between AT&T and WarnerMedia has seen a lot of changes at Warner Bros., most recently with massive layoffs at the DC Universe app.

The company has made the shift to digital content in the last few years, culminating in its recent launch of HBO Max. However, other aspects aren’t doing too well, as the DC Universe streaming service may be falling to the wayside. Recently, Jim Lee confirmed that all original DC Universe shows will now be available on HBO Max. Which seems to signal the end of the DC Universe streaming app, though Lee hinted that the comic book side of the service may remain. 

Along with their initial offering when HBO Max launched, WarnerMedia also offered exclusive anime content as well. That could have been an early indication of their plans with Crunchyroll. It makes sense that WarnerMedia is selling Crunchyroll anime streamer, as it seeks to consolidate their business ventures. 

WarnerMedia Selling Crunchyroll Anime Streamer To Various Potential Buyers

WarnerMedia selling Crunchyroll anime streamer Crunchyroll. Image via Crunchyroll.

An initial Variety report stated that WarnerMedia’s sale of Crunchyroll was being entertained by Sony, who also owns the rival anime streaming platform, Funimation. However, the Sony deal looks like it fell through, given the high asking price from WarnerMedia of $1.5 Billion. AT&T learned from that experience and the price point for the Crunchyroll anime streamer looks to be lower now at $1 Billion. 

It will be interesting to see where Crunchyroll ends up. The combination of Warner Bros’ film library, DC Entertainment’s comic book content, and Crunchyroll’s anime catalog would have been an unstoppable one-stop-shop for multiple demographics. But clearly, AT&T has debt and other priorities that they need to focus on. If the sale to Sony went through, then Sony would have cornered a large portion of the anime streaming market with Funimation and Crunchyroll. Besides the two, Netflix is the biggest competitor in the anime market. It would not also be out of the realm of possibility for Netflix themselves to buy Crunchyroll. If for nothing but to eventually consolidate their licenses and content into their platform. What that would mean for the Crunchyroll Originals line-up is still unknown.

What do you think about WarnerMedia selling Crunchyroll anime streamer? Let us know in the comments below. 

Featured image via Crunchyroll.

Anime News

Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.


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