Variety and The Information are both reporting, with sources, that WarnerMedia is hoping to sell Crunchyroll. The two sources differ only on the asking price; The Information says WarnerMedia wants $1.5bn for the anime platform, Variety says the asking price is $1bn.
There has been no official comment.
However, only two weeks ago, Crunchyroll told the world that it has surpassed the 3 million paying subscribers point. The cost of a Crunchyroll subscription in the UK is £6.50 a month ($7.99 in the US). So that would be £1,950,0000 of revenue a month or £234,000,000 a year. An x5 multiple on a tech acquisition is about right, so the figures stack.
Crunchyroll’s income will also include ads from the 70 million or accounts it has. Still, the costs will be non-trivial especially as the platform is busy commissioning shows like The God of High School, Tower of God and other hits of the summer to fend off Netflix.
It’s less clear how brands like Viz Media Europe, of which Crunchyroll holds the majority, Anime Digital Network, Anime on Demand, KAZE and other assets affect the bottom line.
WarnerMedia itself is owned by AT&T and with that comes a debt burden of $153.4bn.
Who could the buyers be? Sony is the obvious one as they already own Funimation and Aniplex. Before Sony’s involvement with Funimation, Crunchyroll had a cross-license agreement with Funimation with both platform providing versions of each other’s shows).
The online Virtual Crunchyroll Expo is free to register for and opens on September 4th.
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