Crunchyroll Launches New Beta Website in U.S.

posted on by Alex Mateo
Crunchyroll Beta to feature new user interface, improved search, user-made Crunchylists

Crunchyroll announced on Tuesday that it is launching a new Crunchyroll Beta website. The beta is currently available for 20% of its premium members, but it will eventually become available to all premium subscribers and free users in the U.S. The company will reveal details on the beta's international rollout at a future date. Eligible premium users can opt-in to Crunchyroll Beta through header images or pop ups that appear on the service's website.

In Crunchyroll Beta, the website's homepage will have a new user interface, in which users can receive personalized recommendations and seamlessly navigate to their watchlist or to redesigned show pages. The beta will also feature improved search capabilities and the ability to filtering between genres, new and popular anime, and subtitled and dubbed series. Users will also be able to create unique usernames and select from a library of avatars and images featuring different series.

Crunchyroll Beta will also feature the new Crunchylists feature, which allows users to create their own curated collection of titles. Users can add any series or select episodes from the service onto their list and organize it however they prefer.

Crunchyroll surpassed more than four million subscribers and more than 100 million registered users in February.

Crunchyroll launched in 2006 as a streaming service offering anime titles without authorization. The website secured US$4.05 million in its first-round funding from Venrock and began licensing titles for streaming in 2008.

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 Otter Media invested another US$22 million in Crunchyroll's parent company Ellation in November 2015. AT&T then announced in August 2018 that it acquired all of Otter Media.

The service had reached more than one million subscribers in February 2017, more than two million subscribers in October 2018, and over three million subscribers in July 2020.

Crunchyroll and Viz Media Europe closed the deal for Crunchyroll to become the majority owner of Viz Media Europe Group in December 2019. The companies announced the agreement in September 2019. Viz Media Europe SAS (Société par Actions Simplifiées or simplified joint-stock company) announced in April 2020 that it changed its name to Crunchyroll SAS.

The streaming service announced in December that Sony's Funimation Global Group will acquire Crunchyroll from AT&T. Sony reported that the purchase price is US$1.175 billion, to be paid in cash at closing.

Source: Email correspondence

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