The days of cable TV are gone, and streaming services are what most people use when it comes to entertainment.
This is why investors looking to cash in on the streaming craze are looking to investment opportunities, like Crunchyroll stock.
Crunchyroll is a widely used anime streaming service that’s exploded in popularity in the last few years alone.
But can you invest in Crunchroll stock?
Follow along to learn more about the company, whether you can buy or sell Crunchyroll stock, and what close competitors are worth investing in.
Crunchyroll Stock: The Most Popular Anime Streaming Service
Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 by a group of graduates from the University of California, Berkeley.
The website started as a for-profit video uploading site dedicated to anime.
In 2008, the company had seen such success that it received an investment of just over $4 million from investors at the venture capital firm Venrock.
Many U.S.-based anime distributors criticized the company because a large amount of the content uploaded was not legally licensed.
In fact, two of the largest critics of this investment were Funimation and Bandai Entertainment.
In response to this criticism, Crunchyroll moved toward the legal distribution of the media.
One of the companies it worked with was Gonzo.
Gonzo helped Crunchyroll increase the number of titles it could legally stream continuously.
In 2009, Crunchyroll made a public statement about removing any media that infringed copyrights.
Many believe that this was sparked by the deal struck with TV Tokyo to stream episodes of the popular anime Naruto Shippuden.
Increasing the Range of Its Media
In 2010, Crunchyroll made itself a more legitimate distribution company by securing DVD rights to popular anime titles.
This isn’t where the platform’s expansion stopped, however.
Crunchyroll began to expand to other forms of Japanese media as well.
By 2013, the company began the digital distribution of 12 different manga titles from Kodansha; manga is the equivalent of a Japanese graphic novel.
The expansion into other platforms, not just video media, started to shape the company’s future.
Crunchyroll had secured its place in the distribution world as one of North America’s major players.
Selling the Company
In December of 2013, the Chernin Group announced that it purchased a controlling interest in Crunchyroll.
The sale of the site was rumored to be for around $100 million.
The deal allowed for TV Tokyo and existing Crunchyroll management to remain involved with the company.
Then, less than 6 months later, the Chernin Group announced a partnership with AT&T, and a new company called Otter Media was formed.
Crunchyroll would be part of Otter Media, whose sole focus was on video streaming services.
The company looked to create a new umbrella of companies similar to Crunchyroll that targeted niche demographics.
During this time, Crunchyroll continued to target the enthusiasts of Japanese media, such as anime and manga.
By 2015, the company had nearly 700,000 subscribers on its platform, largely thanks to the way that Otter Media handled Crunchyroll.
By 2016, Crunchyroll had begun to make more headlines in the streaming world, as it gained global distribution rights and financing opportunities to Kadokawa anime titles.
In the last 5 years, Crunchyroll has seen more changes in hands than many streaming companies do.
In 2016, a partnership with Funimation was announced.
While Funimation had been one of the platform’s harshest critics, this partnership would help it continue to dominate its market.
In conjunction with Funimation, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment had agreed to be the new distributor for the company’s home video catalog.
Crunchyroll had a big year in 2017 thanks to its Funimation partnership.
The company announced that it reached a million subscribers and began distributing anime through the Steam platform.
Crunchyroll and Funimation: Partners Part Ways
Unfortunately, the partnership between Crunchyroll and Funimation didn’t last long.
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Funimation was purchased by Sony in 2018, and Otter Media was purchased by AT&T.
The two anime companies would go separate ways — but not for long.
WarnerMedia’s Control of Crunchyroll
In 2018, when AT&T purchased the remainder of Otter Media, Crunchyroll became a part of WarnerMedia.
The resulting purchase and joint venture meant that the company would be connected to popular networks, like Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
Crunchyroll would also go on to work with Viz Media in both North American and European markets.
Crunchyroll Continues to Dominate Its Market
Crunchyroll became the most popular segment of all of the companies underneath the Otter umbrella.
As such, nearly the entire operation had become subsidiaries of Crunchyroll.
The anime network had taken its place as the top dog, and all of the other companies became part of it.
Sony’s Purchase of Crunchyroll
In 2020, Sony Pictures Entertainment, which owned Funimation, purchased Crunchyroll for $1.2 billion.
Doing so made Crunchyroll the world’s largest anime distributor.
The company is now responsible for the majority of all global anime releases outside of Asia at this time.
Sony likely purchased the company to make itself the world’s anime powerhouse in addition to Crunchyroll’s annual revenue.
Crunchyroll has approximately 5 million paying users, and plans start at $6.95 a month.
That’s a lot of money in Sony’s pockets.
Can You Buy Crunchyroll Stock?
While you can’t buy or sell Crunchyroll stock, stock can be purchased for its parent company, Sony.
The Sony Group Corp is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker SONY.
The company has not had an individual initial public offering (IPO).
Until that happens, stock cannot be purchased.
Who Owns Crunchyroll?
Sony currently owns Crunchyroll after it purchased the company in 2020.
Prior to Sony’s purchase, the company was owned by AT&T, and before that the Chernin Group.
What Is The Crunchyroll Stock Price and Symbol?
The company does not currently have a stock price or symbol as it is not traded on the stock market.
Until an initial public offering takes place, it will not have a price or symbol.
Why Is Crunchyroll Successful?
Crunchyroll is successful due to its niche application in the streaming world.
The platform appeals to anime and Japanese culture enthusiasts and is one of the only services that allows users to buy and read this type of media.
Because of this, it has a subscriber base of 5 million paying users.
Crunchyroll Competitors to Buy
If you want similar companies to invest in, consider the following options!
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX)
Netflix may be considered the godfather of streaming services as far as entertainment platforms go.
The company has seen massive success throughout its life and will only continue to grow.
Netflix was founded about a decade prior and has had more time to grow its base than other platforms.
The streaming service currently has 209 million paid users, making it the most popular streaming site available.
The company’s revenue was $25 billion in 2020.
Currently, you can purchase stock in Netflix for about $546 a share.
Bandai Namco Holdings (TYO: 7832)
It may not be available on an American market, but all the same, Bandai is a company worth investing in if given the opportunity.
This Japanese company makes anime as well as video games.
Bandai also makes toys and model kits.
The company was formed in 2005 when Bandai and Namco became partners and merged.
Because it has so much experience in so many different industries, Bandai Namco is a strong company to invest in.
Currently, you can purchase stock in Bandai for about $33 a share.
Sony Group Corp (NYSE: SONY)
While it may not be a competitor anymore, investing in Sony is still a great idea if you want to invest in a multimedia and streaming entity.
In addition to producing and distributing media, it also manufactures the products to stream its subsidiaries on.
Sony is a well-rounded entertainment and technology company to invest in if you’re looking to buy or sell stocks that are similar to Crunchyroll.
Currently, you can purchase stock in Sony for about $98 a share.
Can You Buy Crunchyroll Stock: Final Thoughts
Anime and manga are two very popular forms of entertainment in North America; as such, investing in a company that focuses on both of these media is a smart pick.
If you’re on the search for a company that specializes in these areas, you may have given Crunchyroll a thought.
Unfortunately, the company isn’t publicly traded.
That being said, Crunchyroll’s parent company is!
So if you’re looking to invest in a company that manages the distribution of anime and manga, look no further than Sony.
With its acquisition of Crunchyroll, it has become the largest global anime distributor to exist.
Sony runs several other entertainment companies as well, and all available data points to it being a stable investment.
If you want to invest in anime, be sure to look into investing in Sony.
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