Crunchyroll is the current market leader for anime, Korean drama and manga. The company has seen exponential growth in paid subscriptions in the last five years and they have generated close to $2.5 million in 2014. A source close to the situation has told Good e-Reader that Amazon is mulling over an acquisition of the company in order to create a brand new anime section on Amazon Instant Video.
The online media service Crunchyroll has over 400,000 reported paid subscribers as of late November 2014 — doubling its total in about one and a half years. Crunchyroll previously announced that it had over 200,000 subscribers at Tokyo International Anime Fair in March 2013. It reported 100,000 subscribers in September 2012, and TV Tokyo reported that Crunchyroll had 70,000 subscribers in November 2011.
Currently Amazon has a very paltry anime selection on Instant Video and they don’t have a dedicated section for it. Most of their content is movies and it is intermixed with other genres, making it hard to find. In contrast, Hulu+ and Netflix both have large catalogs and they both have television episodes so people can stay current in whatever season they are watching.
Crunchyroll has the largest collection of anime in North America and they have built a ravenous following because they have anime on their system one day after it debuts in Japan. They also have one of the most polished apps in the business, with support for most gaming console, streaming media boxes, Android and iOS. They are a big proponent of of discovery, which they manage to do very well.
The Cherin Group purchased Crunchyroll to the tune of $100 million back in 2013 and TV Tokyo still maintains a “significant” stake. Negotiations are said to be in the early stages and Amazon is the only company that is actively courting Crunchyroll.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.