TV & Video Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Sony’s Crunchyroll is winning with anime 

Anime viewership is becoming more popular in the United States; 191 million hours of content was viewed on Netflix alone in 2022, up +57% vs. 2019, according to Circana’s Subscription Video Track. In this explosion of anime viewership over the past several years, Sony’s Crunchyroll is a top option for viewers to watch on. Crunchyroll recently reported that about 300 million people worldwide watched anime in some form in 2022, doubling 2020’s viewership. Crunchyroll today is a merged service of Funimation, an anime platform that Sony purchased in 2017, and Crunchyroll, a dedicated anime service that the company purchased in 2020. Crunchryoll is unique, because the streaming platform allows anime viewers to watch a large library of new and catalog content. The service has an ad-supported tier and three paid tiers with ad-free viewing, allowing consumers to choose whatever option works best for them. The company also hosts live events, distributes anime movies in North America, and offers other perks to subscribers.

The NPD Take

  • In an ever-changing content environment, Sony has targeted itself well to represent the Anime space with Crunchyroll. As such, identifying growing programming areas is an opportunity for other streaming services at a time where winning share is critical.

Mattel is working on toy movies 

Mattel is planning to utilize media entertainment to grow their brand. After new CEO Ynon Kreiz took over the company in 2018, they have focused more on their entertainment content. The film division is planning its first launch with Barbie, a live action romantic comedy based on the fashion dolls that are coming out this summer. Creating content around the company’s licenses allows them to control the storytelling and bring more eyeballs to the brand. Barbie (2023) is just the first in a large slate of films and other media content that the company plans to distribute over the next few years.

The NPD Take:

  • Toy companies bringing IP into media entertainment provides reach to a wider audience and grows brand awareness.

Paramount+ is finding ways to grow

Paramount+ is gaining popularity among viewers. In the two years since its launch, the platform has reached 56 million subscribers, adding 9.9 million in the last quarter. According to Circana’s TV Switching Study, 10.4% of U.S. Internet Households consider Paramount+ a must have service. The streamer offers a large variety of content from its varying networks (including Nickelodeon, VH1, and Comedy Central) at ad-supported and ad-free tiers, and about 36% of subscribers chose the plan without ads (TV Switching Study). The company has stopped licensing some of its big franchises to third parties; in 2020, they licensed the streaming rights of hit-show Yellowstone to Peacock, which was a missed opportunity for the company to gain subscribers. Now, however, several spin offs from the series are available on Paramount+. Maximizing its already popular content is one way the company can continue to grow its subscriber base.

The NPD Take

  • Among strong competitors, Paramount+ is carving its way into becoming a popularly used streaming service. Notably, the inter-play between Pluto TV (free streaming) and Paramount+ allows the company to keep viewers in house even if they opt out of their subscription, a strategy we believe will expand within the industry over the coming years.