You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Crunchyroll Pacts With Sumitomo for Anime Production

Crunchyroll, the Asian-flavored U.S. website, and Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. have announced a joint venture to produce original anime for international audiences.

The venture, announced Thursday on the final day of Tokyo’s Japan Content Showcase 2015, will invest in Japanese productions specifically aimed at overseas viewers.

Titles will be premiered on Crunchyroll’s video-on-demand (VoD) platform, a subscription and ad-supported service with over 700,000 monthly subscribers and 10 million monthly viewers, available in seven languages.

“We hope this will be a long term venture to invest in many future anime titles,” said Crunchyroll CEO Kun Gao.
The San Francisco-based company is part of Ellation, Peter Chernin’s and AT&T’s video venture.

Sumitomo’s media division businesses include Jupiter Telecommunications (J:COM), Japan’s largest cable TV provider.
Long the dominant player in anime video streaming, Crunchyroll has faced increasing competition recently, including from Daisuki, a VoD service operated by a consortium of six Japanese anime producers that launched in 2013.

Gao told Variety that the venture with Sumitomo would provide a boost to Japanese producers hungry for overseas viewers.

“Many creators want to bring their content to a more global audience, but they are unsure how to do this,” he said. “Crunchyroll has incredible access to data and analytics about the general tastes of audiences globally.”

The venture will also use Crunchyroll’s social media presence to nurture ties between Japanese producers and their international fans.

“With this partnership, the voice of worldwide anime fans can reach anime production studios directly through the Crunchyroll platform,” said Iehisa Nakamura, general manager of Sumitomo’s media division.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content