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Crunchyroll, Kadokawa Announce Partnership

posted on by Kyle Hallmark
Crunchyroll to exclusively stream Kadokawa anime outside of Asia for next year, will co-produce Kadokawa anime

Media distribution service Crunchyroll and Japanese publisher Kadokawa Corporation announced a partnership on Monday that will grant Crunchyroll exclusive worldwide digital distribution rights outside of Asia for anime titles published by Kadokawa in the next year.

The partnership will also include a marketing collaboration between Crunchyroll and Kadokawa's North American publishing branch. Additionally, Crunchyroll will co-finance Kadokawa's future anime titles. The announcement stated that both companies view the alliance as a first step toward possible further collaboration in the future.

The announcement stated that Crunchyroll has more than 20 million registered users worldwide (outside of Asia). The company previously stated last November that it had 20 million registered users and expected to have 750,000 paid subscribers by the end of 2015.

Crunchyroll and Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corporation announced in October that they launched a joint venture to create a company focused on funding anime co-production projects.

The Chernin Group, a company run by former News Corporation executive Peter Chernin, had announced in December 2013 that it had acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll. The company noted at the time that it would use the website to expand into different genres.

Kun Gao co-founded Crunchyroll in 2007, and in 2008 the company raised US$4.05 million in its first-round funding from Venrock (the venture-capital arm of the Rockefeller family). GDH, the corporate parent of the Gonzo animation studio, also invested about US$2 million in Crunchyroll in 2008. Japanese media company TV Tokyo and Japanese e-book distributor Bitway each invested US$750,000 in Crunchyroll in 2010. Crunchyroll's "About" page currently lists its investors as Otter Media (a joint venture owned by The Chernin Group and AT&T) and TV Tokyo. Otter Media invested another US$22 million in Crunchyroll's parent company Ellation in November.

Crunchyroll launched its Crunchyroll Manga service in October 2013. The company offers simulcast services in North America, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Latin America.

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