Crunchyroll HITS 3 Million Subscribers As Anime Continues To Gain Traction
Warmermedia's Crunchyroll has hit a milestone of 3 million subscribers to its streaming service.
launched in 2007 as a streaming service offering anime titles without authorization, Crunchy can now boast about a US$4.05 million in its first-round funding from Venrock and it's licensed titles for streaming.
With the company being the world’s largest anime library with more than 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes. Initially a unit of Otter Media and AT&T, it was shifted last year under the aegis of WarnerMedia and its entertainment chairman, Bob Greenblatt. The main reason for that shuffle was the launch of HBO Max, which includes a hub of anime fare curated by Crunchyroll.
Crunchyroll also revealed the top viewed anime series (quantified by views per subscriber; listed in alphabetical order) in the U.S. during its second quarter this year (April-June 2020)
In an interview with Deadline, Waage declined to speculate on the broader strategy of WarnerMedia in streaming, but she said “the goal is to fuel both” Crunchyroll and HBO Max. “We believe we can grow this area by exposing people to it,” she added. “Dramatic animation is in its infancy … We are Fox 30 years ago with The Simpsons. This is a category that will only grow.”
The past two years have seen a flurry of activity at the parent companies, as AT&T closed its $81 billion acquisition of Time Warner and restructured it while pursuing a multi-billion-dollar streaming entrant. Niche service FilmStruck was shut down by WarnerMedia, with many of its library titles migrating to HBO Max, leaving many observers to speculate about whether other services would follow in that path. DC Universe, for example, launched as a direct-to-consumer offering in September 2018. HBO Max is now emphasizing its DC titles, including the upcoming director’s cut of Justice League.
Crunchyroll, though, remains in expansion mode. In late 2019, it closed the majority acquisition of VIZ Media Europe Group, expanding its consumer brand portfolio. It now operates streaming services Anime Digital Network (in partnership with Citel, a subsidiary of Média-Participations) and Anime on Demand, DVD and manga publisher KAZÉ, and live action content distributor Eye See Movies.
It also is active across e-commerce, games, events and merchandising and is a force in ad-supported digital streaming. The subscription streaming offering costs $8 a month or $80 for a full year.