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Sumitomo, Crunchyroll's Parent Chernin Group Announce Strategic Partnership

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Sumitomo, Crunchyroll partnered in 2015 to fund anime co-productions

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, a subsidiary of the Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corporation, announced a strategic partnership on Wednesday with The Chernin Group, a media company run by former News Corporation executive Peter Chernin. Under this new business partnership, both companies hope to expand into the media and entertainment industry and gain a foothold in the global entertainment business market.

The Chernin Group acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll in December 2013. The Chernin Group and AT&T formed the joint venture Otter Media in 2014, and it operates Crunchyroll's parent company Ellation. Otter Media invested another US$22 million in Crunchyroll's parent company Ellation in November 2015.

Crunchyroll and Sumitomo Corporation previously announced a partnership in October 2015 to create a company focused on funding anime co-production projects. The partnership's intended goal at the time was to immediately acquire foreign distribution rights and promote anime outside of Japan by being part of an anime's production committee. It has since invested in more than two dozen anime productions.

Crunchyroll announced in February that it has reached more than one million subscribers. Within the United States, Crunchyroll is the eighth largest video streaming service, outranking Showtime and CBS' respective video streaming services.

Crunchyroll co-founder and CEO Kun Gao recently took over last month as representative director of Crunchyroll K.K., the company's Japanese branch, after representative director Vincent Shortino stepped down.

Source: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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