The Chernin Group, the media holding company founded by former News Corp. chief Peter Chernin, has acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll, a streaming video service that specializes in anime content.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but AllThingsD reported in October that TCG’s stake would value Crunchyroll at less than $100 million. Crunchyroll’s senior management team will maintain a “significant” stake in the company along with existing investor TV Tokyo.
Founded in 2007, Tokyo-based Crunchyroll offers a mix of free and subscription-based services, offering more than 25,000 episodes and 15,000 hours of content. Crunchyroll , which has raised almost million and has more than 200,000 premium subscribers, streams services to a range of platforms, including PC browsers, iOS and Android devices, the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Apple TV, Roku boxes and several models of smart TVs.
TCG said it will work with Crunchyroll and its team to grow its existing anime business and to use it as a platform to launch new non-anime channels across multiple different genres. Chernin reportedly made a $500 million bid for Hulu in March.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Crunchyroll,” Chernin said, in a statement. “The Crunchyroll founders and senior management team have accomplished two incredible things. One, they have built one of the leading online video companies in the industry. And, two they have created the best and largest community for anime video in the world. 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."
Privately held TCG also produces feature films and TV programs through Chernin Entertainment, and hold strategic investments in several digital media companies, including Pandora, Fullscreen, Tumblr, Flipboard and Scopely.