Sony is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to acquire anime streaming service KissAnime.
The streaming site closed its doors in August of this year, despite having a large active user base, after encountering numerous licensing issues. Recent indications show that Sony could end up offering upwards of 65,000 Bitcoin in order to gain full ownership of the site and bring it back online.
KissAnime made a name for itself through its unique market strategy of not paying copyright holders and raising funds solely through deceptive browser advertisements rather than user subscriptions. The site was additionally able to reduce operating costs below that of its competitors by hosting videos on outside servers and forgoing any translation staff by outsourcing subtitling to the HorribleSubs group. KissAnime quickly become known for its large selection of anime titles, hosting nearly every series in existence.
“We are excited to soon have KissAnime join our already extensive array of anime properties,” said Shu Hishimoto, president of Sony’s Aniplex of America. “With this acquisition, we can finally say that we have reached the point of owning all the anime.”
“I don’t know what took them so long,” commented Twitter user and supposed expert on the complex legalities of international licensing, OtakuDeluxe69. “They should have just copied KissAnime from the very beginning.”
Sony has not yet announced how the acquisition would affect its current ownership of Funimation, which it acquired in 2017. Although with most Funimation users only subscribed due to not knowing about KissAnime, it is likely that the Funimaiton service will either be discontinued or rolled into the KissAnime brand.