Media giant WarnerMedia (a subsidiary of AT&T) is reportedly looking to sell the anime streaming platform Crunchyroll, asking for at least one billion.
Variety reports WarnerMedia is aiming to sell Crunchyroll for $1.5 billion USD as their asking price. According to their sources however, they are only anticipating at least $1 billion USD for the site. This is similar to AT&T’s sale of their 10% stake in Hulu for $1.43 billion.
Crunchyroll reportedly surpassed over 70 million registered users and at least 3 million paying subscribers. With a subscription costing $7.99 USD and ad revenue from non-paying subscribers, Crunchyroll makes millions a month for their streaming service.
The potential sale of Crunchyroll could be a part of AT&T’s attempts to reduce their debt, the telecommunications company has reported $153.4 billion in debt. Much of that debt was reportedly incurred when acquiring TimeWarner, including its subsidiaries such as WarnerMedia.
The $1 billion asking price from AT&T for Crunchyroll might not be realistic however. In a similar situation, Sony Pictures bought a majority stake in Funimation for only $143 million, almost one tenth of Crunchyroll’s asking price. However Crunchyroll’s activities as a producer might entitle it to a higher asking price.
Crunchyroll has released multiple original series this year including Fena: Pirate Princess, The God of High School, and Tower of God. According to Variety, both The God of High School and Tower of God set new viewership records for the streaming platform, which reflects well on Crunchyroll’s marketability.
However the marketplace for anime streaming services has become increasingly competitive. Sony ended Funimation’s cooperation with Crunchyroll when it came to streaming the same titles. As we reported previously, Sentai Filmworks pulled over seventy titles from Crunchyroll while they develop their own streaming platform.
We will post future updates on Crunchyroll’s potential sale, and change of ownership as they’re announced.
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