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NEWS: Nikkei: Sony 'Nears Acquisition' of Crunchyroll


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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:45 am Reply with quote
Sony's total monopoly of anime in the western world, here we come...
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Ryuji-Dono



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:46 am Reply with quote
So, FUNimation and Crunchyroll will be together once more.
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Beatdigga



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:48 am Reply with quote
Zeino wrote:
Sony's total monopoly of anime in the western world, here we come...


That is not a good thing, at all. Especially if Sony gets censorship happy.

The battle lines will be drawn between Sony and Netflix, which for all its myriad of issues, has no problem with letting its content creators do what they want.
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Ryuji-Dono



Joined: 26 Apr 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:50 am Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
Zeino wrote:
Sony's total monopoly of anime in the western world, here we come...


That is not a good thing, at all. Especially if Sony gets censorship happy.

The battle lines will be drawn between Sony and Netflix, which for all its myriad of issues, has no problem with letting its content creators do what they want.


You're talking like if Sony is the one that decides which titles may go to FUNimation?
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Weird Guy



Joined: 24 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:01 am Reply with quote
well RIP good dubs from Crunchroll. Sony will very likely to do the same thing as they are doing with funimation dubs in my country...
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88NickC



Joined: 30 Oct 2020
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:03 am Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
Zeino wrote:
Sony's total monopoly of anime in the western world, here we come...


That is not a good thing, at all. Especially if Sony gets censorship happy.

This is Sony Pictures Entertainment that's attempting to acquire Crunchyroll, not Sony Interactive Entertainment.
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CastMember1991



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 655
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:07 am Reply with quote
Ryuji-Dono wrote:
Beatdigga wrote:
Zeino wrote:
Sony's total monopoly of anime in the western world, here we come...


That is not a good thing, at all. Especially if Sony gets censorship happy.

The battle lines will be drawn between Sony and Netflix, which for all its myriad of issues, has no problem with letting its content creators do what they want.


You're talking like if Sony is the one that decides which titles may go to FUNimation?


I have a feeling Disney will join in the anime wars too. I see them buying Sentai or Viz.
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Beatdigga



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:08 am Reply with quote
Disney doesn’t need anime. They have more than enough original material and the medium doesn’t fit their image. At most you’ll see Hulu tighten up its offerings.
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Lord Vaultman



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:15 am Reply with quote
Yeah not sure how I feel about this now. I don't think sony is going to get its return on investment if they spend that kind of money. Plus this just stinks of monopoly. I also fear for VRV and what may be lost there with roosterteeth, HIDIVE, etc. I love the idea of more funimation dubs but I feel like sony and funimation already had gotten to a good place.
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FlowerAiko



Joined: 05 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:18 am Reply with quote
So this leaves:

- Netflix, who just announced a huuuge partnership with a bunch of studios (I wonder if these two events are related?)

- Viz, who picks up very few, mainstream shows and focuses on manga

- Eleven Arts for films and GKIDS for films and NGE, apparently

- Whatever energy Sentai's dying body has left

And this is only in NA. I know Sony has a huge presence in other markets worldwide but am unfamiliar with intl markets on the whole.

This is really, really bad. People defended the Funi buyout back in the day because "these companies can pay top dollar during bidding wars, that's good for studios!" and now we have a near monopoly. I doubt Sony will be keen on "paying top dollar" if they're pretty much the only route available for NA anime distribution.

Funi's streaming service is already abysmal with the slow loading times, terrible console apps, and a website video player that STILL does not disappear when you enter full screen. I'm not a huge fan of Crunchyroll either but their website is at least functional. I wonder if Sony plans to merge the two or will keep them separate to wring out more subscriber money ala Disney +/Hulu/ESPN+.
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hooliganj



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:29 am Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
Zeino wrote:
Sony's total monopoly of anime in the western world, here we come...


That is not a good thing, at all. Especially if Sony gets censorship happy.

The battle lines will be drawn between Sony and Netflix, which for all its myriad of issues, has no problem with letting its content creators do what they want.

I'm less worried about censorship than about what this means for the already fragile financial state of the industry. Netflix is increasingly focused on self-produced titles. Hulu and Sentai/HiDive both have existing business relationships with Funimation and Crunchyroll, respectively. If Sony acquires Crunchyroll, it effectively puts every major outlet for TV anime in the west under (or at least adjacent to) one corporate umbrella, which gives them incredibly huge leverage when it comes to negotiating the all-important licensing fees. For the last decade these fees have been a reliable and important part of the income for many anime studios, and if Sony creates an effective monopoly and causes the price to drop...

Back in the 90s there was a bubble in the western anime market, which popped when 2 of the 3 top competitors went under, leaving 1 company responsible for importing the majority of anime (and there was also a spot of economic trouble in Japan that maybe had a little bit of impact on the anime industry as a whole). At the time, Funimation came out on top, but was still a fan-owned and fan-targeting company, so they did what they could to keep the releases coming and to grow the fandom. Sony is not the same kind of company - if/when the bubble bursts their focus will be on protecting their revenue and cutting dead weight from the corporation.

To avoid this, or at least mitigate the damage, there needs to be some competition. Personally I would like to see an anime-centered company like Sentai step up their game, but having been built on the bones of ADV before them, I don't know if the business acumen is there to compete on the level of the giant corporations that now dominate the field of anime licensing. Netflix could improve their licensing rate, but their marketing is always going to focus on their own "originals". Hulu and Amazon still license and carry shows, but both seem to have given up on using anime as a primary revenue stream. Maybe Disney+ can make a bid to fill their vacuous lack of catalog by cutting an exclusive deal with some studio - Bones would be a likely target, with their high output of relatively high-quality, family-friendly fare.

But still, none of these seem particularly likely, which just leaves Sony, owning all the outlets, collecting all the sub fees, and slashing all the licensing fees. If this sale goes through, combined with the hit all studios have taken from COVID, I would predict that after about a year we'll start seeing all these cool, new, independent and creative studios shutting down, and the animators will be working harder for less than ever, no matter how many dormitories get sponsored by the fans.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:31 am Reply with quote
If Sony can afford a billion dollars to buy Crunchyroll, then surely they can pay translators more than $80 an episode once the deal closes, right?
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Ermat_46



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:37 am Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
If Sony can afford a billion dollars to buy Crunchyroll, then surely they can pay translators more than $80 an episode once the deal closes, right?


Assuming that they won't just overwork employed Funimation translators. Also, Crunchyroll won't get a penny from the deal since Sony is paying AT&T, not Crunchyroll.
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Jonny Mendes



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:38 am Reply with quote
I can see Sony using Funimation for North American market and Crunchyroll for the rest of the world.

That's one way to avoid competition between the two services.

Netflix anime is more aimed at American older teens and adult anime audiences and fans that are new to anime with all that CG animation.

Viz is more aimed at mainstream younger shonen audience.


Last edited by Jonny Mendes on Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:06 am; edited 3 times in total
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Ryuji-Dono



Joined: 26 Apr 2018
Posts: 424
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:43 am Reply with quote
Jonny Mendes wrote:
I can see Sony using Funimation for North American market and Crunchyroll for the rest of the world.

That's one way to avoid competition between the two services.


Does that mean different dubs in other English speaking countries?
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