Rumours that Crunchyroll could be taken down are circulating online amongst concerned users, but why are fans worried about the platform’s future?

Fans of Crunchyroll are becoming concerned that the platform could go out of business after stories of sales and third-party licensing circulated online.

Not only are there rumours that a new competitor is being developed that would stream anime for free on YouTube, but also that the sale of Crunchyroll could be held up because of a steep asking price.

Anime studios combine on YouTube?

  • There are reports that Japan’s top anime studios are planning to make a YouTube channel that will stream certain shows for free.

According to Variety, several studios including Toei Animation, Kodansha and Nippon Animation are banding together to create their own channel on YouTube. The channel, named Animelog (or Anilog), will stream anime content from these studios for free on YouTube, offering the studios control over distribution.

However, there is a chance that this new channel and similar studio-led distribution networks in the future will make platforms like Crunchyroll and Funimation obsolete.

These platforms provide a streaming service to millions of people outside of Japan by licensing anime from the studios and acting as a third-party distributor – aside from their original series.

If such free channels, run directly by a union of animation studios, find major success on YouTube, there is a possibility that they will no longer need Crunchyroll or Funimation to distribute their content.

We will have to wait and see how this story develops and we will update this page as more information emerges, but in the meantime, you can watch an excellent video from Hero Hei on the situation.

Is Sony buying Crunchyroll?

  • There are also reports that AT&T is looking to sell Crunchyroll as a service to Sony for a rumoured $1.5 billion.

According to The Information, a deal between AT&T and Sony for Crunchyroll is being held up because of the asking price; a mouth-watering $1.5 (£1.15 billion).

It is unclear as to how accurate these reports are as both AT&T and Sony have declined to comment on the potential deal.

However, the sale does make sense considering AT&T’s outstanding debt, which according to The Hollywood Reporter is around $150 billion.

The concern from fans is that if AT&T is looking to unload Crunchyroll as a means to save money, but Sony doesn’t want to match the asking price, the streaming company could be deprived of the required resources needed to license and produce original series.

We will bring you updates on this story as it develops.

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