Otakon 2012 Crunchyroll Industry Panel
by Gia Manry,
Senior Brand Manager and "Grand Poobah of Fun" Keith Kawamura opened Crunchyroll's Otakon 2012 panel by passing out branded armbands and raffle tickets to each panel attendee. After introducing Crunchyroll's brand of streaming anime and Asian media, Kawamura covered a few recent announcements, including the company's expansion into streaming on the PlayStation 3 and Samsung Smart TVs.
Kawamura revealed that news editor Patrick Macias would not be on-hand at the panel to discuss news, but he and cohort Victoria Holden discussed their news and features, as well as the site's daily deal offers. The Live Show video feature, and the Crunchyroll Ambassador Program, in which the site features active fans who contribute to the fan culture. Holden introduced two such fans, cosplayers Sachi Ai and MeltingMirror. Ambassadors also get the opportunity to become affiliates and earn money if they refer new members or sales on the site.
Next, Kawamura went through some new additions to the streaming site, including Puella Magi Madoka Magika and a number of Asian live-action drama series, followed by ongoing simulcasts like Fairy Tail and Naruto Shippuden and new series like The Ambition of Oda Nobuna.
When discussing Moyashimon season 2, Kawamura revealed that the site will also stream the first season so that fans can catch up before watching the new season. Other new catalog titles include Angel Beats and Hell Girl Two Mirrors.
Kawamura moved into the Q&A session with a question about HD support on the Roku streaming device. Kawamura says that he doesn't have a timetable for it yet but he's hoping that will happen within the next year. Holden noted that they want to present every title in the best way possible. Additionally, Crunchyroll would like to offer material on the Xbox 360 sometime in the future.
For those interested in working at Crunchyroll, the site offers a careers page and is always looking for dedicated, passionate, experienced people. When asked about Crunchyroll's business model Kawamura noted that money from subscriptions typically goes straight back to Japan.
Kawamura also revealed that the site does plan to stream Makoto Shinkai's works on Global Shinkai Day this coming March.
The next attendee asked whether there was a point to Crunchyroll's achievements and badges system, and Kawamura and Holden stated that they are just for fun and entertainment. The site also hopes to someday get Shinkai's newest work, Children Who Chase Lost Voices. Crunchyroll's goal is always to keep titles on the site permanently, but sometimes new releases or other reasons force them to take titles off the site, but many only on a temporary basis.
Typically, the title of an anime comes from the Japanese publisher of the anime, although Crunchyroll sometimes offers suggestions on changes that the publisher may or may not accept.
Holden noted that the company attempts to acquire every single title for simulcast every season, and has an eventual goal of offering every single anime title possible. Kawamura accepted one fan's suggestion that they develop a queue feature and told the attendees to continue offering suggestions so that the site always knows what people want.
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