Crunchyroll, the anime and manga entertainment site owned by AT&T-Chernin Group’s Otter Media, said it now has more than 1 million paid subscribers and over 20 million registered users.
That suggests San Francisco-based Crunchyroll is generating at least $83 million in subscription revenue, given that its plans start at $6.95 per month. While that’s just 1% of Netflix’s yearly haul — the streaming giant posted 2016 revenue of $8.8 billion — Crunchyroll execs have pointed to its fanbase’s high engagement rates and loyalty.
Crunchyroll claimed it saw a 36% increase in paid subscribers last year, a record for the 10-year-old company. Users currently stream more than 1.5 billion minutes of video per month, with a per-user average of about 30 minutes per day. (Analysts estimate that Netflix users watch nearly two hours of video daily.)
Now Crunchyroll is expanding into the in-real-life business: The company on Thursday announced plans for the first Crunchyroll Expo, an anime convention to be held on Aug. 25-27, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. The event will feature a mix of speakers, vendors, and in-person activations spanning anime, manga, video games, and Asian entertainment.
In the U.S., Crunchyroll says it’s the largest home for anime content with over 800 titles. Those include shows like “Attack on Titan” (pictured above), “Naruto Shippuden” and “One Piece.” The company also last fall entered into a cross-licensing deal with Funimation, another big U.S.-based digital anime provider, bringing additional series to Crunchyroll.
“The past year hasn’t just been big for Crunchyroll, it was huge for anime itself,” said Kun Gao, co-founder and GM of Crunchyroll. He said hit shows like “Yuri!!! on Ice” are breaking through to mainstream audiences, and that anime is being used in other creative domains (as in the music video “Shelter” from DJ Porter Robinson).
To mark the million-subscriber mark, Crunchyroll will be offering the chance to win free daily prizes from partners including Loot Crate, Fandango and Microsoft during the week of Feb. 13. Paying subs also can enter to win an entertainment bundle (which includes a 4K Ultra HDTV, gaming console and streaming device) and an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan for two.