Anime Expo 2011
by Zac Bertschy,
The Crunchyroll panel got going at around 10:45am with CEO Kun Gao handling the presentation before a healthy crowd in Workshop 1.
Gao first introduced the basic concept of Crunchyroll – streaming as much anime for a global audience as they possibly can and maximizing revenue sharing with the Japanese studios and publishers who create the material. He then discussed how Crunchyroll's userbase donated over $55,000 to the relief effort in Japan, which earned a letter from the CEO of Studio Pierrot, who heads up the AJA – the charity organization Crunchyroll focused on for their fundraising – personally thanking them.
Gao then went in to some site updates. Presently, Crunchyroll has over 50,000 subscribers and over 6 million viewers each month. They're currently working on JManga, a joint venture with a Japanese manga distributor in Japan that would function as a “Crunchyroll for Manga”. Crunchyroll is also viewable on a wide variety of devices – AppleTV, iPad, iPhone, Roku, Android, and will soon support GoogleTV. They have also launched a news publishing platform in partnership with Patrick Macias, chief editor of Otaku USA.
In addition, they're working on a Nico Nico Douga-style livestreaming service where users at home can interact directly with the video by submitting messages that are displayed onscreen. They've done this at a few conventions so far and tens of thousands of people have tuned in. They're planning on producing more “professional quality content” with pro cosplayers and the like in the future.
Up next Gao talked a bit about their new vanity Twitter URL shortener for anime fans, Cosp.ly, which will be available in the near future. Then it was simulcast announcement time. This summer they have 13 continuing titles – including Beelzebub, Bleach, Blue Exorcist and more. They then announced 3 new summer season simulcast titles: Kamisama Dolls, which begins on Sunday, July 3, YuruYuri, and the third season of Natsume Yuujinchou. They have 9 more simulcast announcements over the next week, and will begin announcing 2-3 per day beginning Tuesday, July 5th. Kun then concluded the panel with a Q&A session.
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