AMC Networks Inc. announced today it has bought up Houston-based Sentai Holdings, LLC ("Sentai"), the global distributor of anime and official anime merchandise, and owner of subscription-based anime streaming service HIDIVE. AMC's acquisition includes all of the member interests from Cool Japan Fund, Inc., a public-private Japanese investment fund. Yes, AMC is getting into the anime streaming business, because they don't want to miss out on getting a slice of the anime pie.
With strong industry relationships and access to key content creators in Japan, Sentai distributes and curates one of the anime industry's most diverse libraries of top trending and classic titles, with its content available on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, among others. Sentai Filmworks has licensed a massive list of anime, including Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Lupin III, Gintama, Made in Abyss, Akame ga KILL!, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, and Parasyte -the maxim-.
Sentai's HIDIVE streaming service will be a strong new addition to AMC Networks' portfolio of fast-growing targeted offerings, which includes AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, and ALLBLK. AMC Networks, the global leader in targeted streaming, has forecast its targeted streaming portfolio will have exceeded nine million paid subscribers by year-end 2021, with 20-25 million paid subscribers by 2025.
"With a seasoned team, strong content, and direct-to-consumer offerings for fans around the world, Sentai is a key global player in anime," said AMC Networks Interim CEO Matt Blank. "This acquisition builds on AMC Networks' already strong IP and franchises and furthers our targeted streaming strategy of super-serving passionate audiences with content depth, curation, and community. With the addition of Sentai, we see an even greater opportunity to build on AMC Networks' position as the global leader in targeted streaming, as we continue to grow a sustainable and long-term profitable streaming business that will be transformational for our company."
John Ledford, Sentai's Founder stated, "We are thrilled by AMC Networks' acquisition and are excited to be a part of their growth strategy. This acquisition will not change Sentai's mission to deliver the most exciting anime content to audiences around the world — it will expand it greatly and will give our content businesses more distribution, more partnerships, more scale and more reach. I could not be more pleased."