Crunchyroll Launches Major New Digital Distribution Partnership
Online Anime Distribution Leader Inks Deal with Major Japanese Anime Producers
San Francisco, California and Tokyo, Japan (November 17, 2008) – Crunchyroll has announced a major step toward creating a new distribution channel for anime content by entering into a strategic initiative with Japanese Anime industry leaders, TV TOKYO Corporation (“TV TOKYO”), SHUEISHA Inc. (“Shueisha”) and Pierrot Co., Ltd. (“Pierrot”)--collectively producers of many of the most popular anime titles of all time.
Crunchyroll is the world's largest anime-focused content and social networking service, and with this partnership, is making a decisive transition from a platform for user-uploaded content to a platform for professionally-produced content.
The first program to launch will be NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, the most popular anime title by the trio of producers. Beginning January 8, 2009, Crunchyroll will offer episodes of the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN series, as well as a lineup of other blockbuster anime titles, as a “simulcast” for the first time immediately following it's broadcast in Japan. Crunchyroll's online community of 4.6 million users will be able to access the content in both subscription streaming and advertising-supported services.
One objective of the partnership is to combat online piracy. “Crunchyroll's goal has been to provide a fully legitimate viewing platform so that anime fans can access the most popular titles in a timely manner from Japan via an authorized outlet. We are redesigningthe site to ensure that all professionally-produced content is approved by licensors. This partnership with TV TOKYO, Shueisha and Pierrot is great validation for online distribution”, said Kun Gao, CEO of Crunchyroll. “By providing more viewing options to fans and closing the release gap with domestic broadcast in Japan, Crunchyroll helps fans satisfy their craving for the latest anime while supporting rights holders' efforts to monetize their content. This is a very exciting time to be an anime fan!”
“We understand that digital distribution is important in keeping our overseas fans happy and engaged with our titles”, states Mr. Soichiro Hashi, General Manager for TV TOKYO's Animation Business, speaking on behalf of the three Tokyo-based partners. “We are listening to the needs of our overseas fan base and they clearly want to have access to titles earlier. We hope our online offering will increase legitimate viewing of our titles while making sure our worldwide fan-base is content as we attempt to fulfill the growing need for quality anime titles. Crunchyroll is an ideal partner for us because we both specialize in anime. Together, we will cater to an audience that will appreciate and support all the hard work of the creators and animators.”
About TV TOKYO
TV TOKYO Corporation is a leading Japanese content producer and broadcaster with particular strength in animation, high-concept infotainment and business news. Many of its programs are licensed by TV TOKYO Medianet Inc. (its distribution arm) to non-affiliate local stations as well as overseas broadcasters and distributors. TV TOKYO has been the home of the hit animation series such as “Naruto”, “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, “Shaman King”, “Pokémon”, “Sonic X” and “Beyblade”.
To learn more, please visit http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/
Shueisha Inc., founded in 1926, is the Japan's top sales publisher and publishes 40 magazines including comic magazine, women's, men's, sports, literary, etc. as well as trade books. Its most successful comic magazine, “Shonen Jump”, is printed 3 million copies weekly in Japan alone and many animations such as “Naruto”, “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, “Dragon Ball” and “Shaman King” are based on Shonen Jump. Beyond publishing, Shueisha strategically works with other media and carries out many activities such as producing animation and merchandising for its strong properties.
To learn more, please visit http://www.shueisha.co.jp/
Established in 1979, Pierrot Co., Ltd. has produced numerous successful high quality animation productions including world famous fairy tales like "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils [Nils no Fushigi na Tabi]" (1980), popular comics like "Gensomaden Saiyuki" (2000), "Hikaru no Go" (2002), "The Twelve Kingdoms [Juni Kokuki]" (2002), "NARUTO" (2002), “BLEACH” (2004) and original stories such as "Magical Girl Series" (1983-1985). With its 30-years of experience, Pierrot has firmly established itself as one of Japan's most versatile, dependable, and creative production companies.
To learn more, please visit http://www.pierrot.jp/
Headquartered in San Francisco, California – Crunchyroll is hailed as a leading online entertainment brand with the largest international online community and destination focused on Asian entertainment including anime, drama, music in addition to electronic entertainment and auto content. Crunchyroll's distribution channel and partnership program delivers content to over four million passionate fans worldwide. Crunchyroll is funded by the premiere group Venrock. More information can be found at its website http://www.crunchyroll.com.
The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Crunchyroll.com's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers, international economic and political conditions. The Company may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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