A couple of days ago, Sony Pictures Entertainment completed its $1.175 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll anime business through its Funimation Global Group. The deal came a week after Crunchyroll announced it had passed 5 million paying subscribers and 120 million registered users, up from 4 million subscribers and 100 million registered users in February 2021, driven by the increasing global popularity of the Anime genre.
According to Ampere Consumer data, the proportion of viewers who enjoy watching Anime increased from 24% in the first quarter of 2018 to 36% in the same period of 2021.
Launched in 2009, Crunchyroll saw its subscriber base grow modestly at first, but in recent years it has boomed, averaging almost 100% year-on-year growth in subscribers in the past five years.
Sony is not alone in its Anime push, with Netflix ramping up its original content efforts in this space and suggesting that half of its more than 200 million subscribers have recently viewed a show of this genre.
With Crunchyroll on track to hit almost 8 million subscribers by the end of 2022, the Anime market still has room for growth. “Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll will provide an expansive user and subscriber base for its continued Anime push, with a plan to merge Crunchyroll and Funimation together into one platform in the future,” commented Rory Gooderick, Analyst at Ampere Analysis and the author of the report.