Move over Netflix! Sony could launch rival service powered by PlayStation Plus

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Sony’s PlayStation Plus service could be getting a massive upgrade that will unlock hundreds of hours of new content.

It was recently revealed that Sony had closed a deal for anime-streaming service Crunchyroll.

The final price was set at $1.175bn, making it a huge acquisition for the company in 2021.

For those who haven’t used it before, Crunchyroll is a platform known for delivering anime in a direct-to-consumer service with 5 million SVOD subscribers.

According to the platform, Crunchyroll serves 120 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories.

“Crunchyroll adds tremendous value to Sony’s existing anime businesses, including Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

“With Crunchyroll and Funimation, we are committed to creating the ultimate anime experience for fans and presenting a unique opportunity for our key partners, publishers, and the immensely talented creators to continue to deliver their masterful content to audiences around the world.

“With the addition of Crunchyroll, we have an unprecedented opportunity to serve anime fans like never before and deliver the anime experience across any platform they choose, from theatrical, events, home entertainment, games, streaming, linear TV — everywhere and every way fans want to experience their anime. Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.”

And with Sony’s existing business over at Funimation, the tech giant is in the perfect position to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.

And they can also think about expanding in other areas, perhaps building a streaming bundle that includes PlayStation Plus.

PS Plus is already a very popular service that caters to PS4 and PS5 console owners.

PlayStation look back at every game from the PS4 generation

It allows gamers to play multiplayer titles and also includes two free games that can be downloaded and played for however long you stay a member.

So how would such a service compete with the likes of Netflix? Anime has become a huge growth area for the streaming service over recent years, with both original and syndicated content being offered.

Netflix revealed last year that over 100 million households globally tuned into at least one anime title between October 2019 and September 2020.

So if Sony does decide to expand its PlayStation Plus service in the near future with Crunchyroll, you can expect it to prove very popular with fans.

The one thing to note is that while Sony is rumoured to be planning some kind of PS Plus expansion, it won’t be for free.

This would give the tech giant a perfect opportunity to offer a premium tier for PlayStation Plus, as well as another unique selling point when compared to Xbox and Nintendo.

Later this month will see Netflix launch another original Anime series, this time based in The Witcher universe.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf will be released on August 23 and will be a feature film, rather than TV series.

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