The Chernin Group has acquired a majority of Crunchyroll.com, the anime-focused online video offering that we have covered extensively in the past. The acquisition was first reported in October, and both companies confirmed these reports Monday, but declined to offer details on the numbers. In a statement, Peter Chernin said:
“We couldn’t be more excited about the future. Our plan is to continue to grow the anime vertical as well as launch new channels in different genres. Online video is growing faster than any other sector within media, and we feel that with Crunchyroll, we have a fantastic, anchor platform.”
Crunchyroll is one of a handful of online video platforms that has been able to carve out their own niche next to giants like Netflix and Hulu by taking advantage of content arbitrage: These sites cheaply license specialized content from countries like Japan and South Korea, and then introduce it to audiences in foreign markets.
One of the other companies involved in this kind of import-export business is Viki, which got acquired for a reported $200 million by Rakuten in September.
Check out my previously recorded interview with Crunchyroll CEO Kun Gao below: