|Type of business||Subsidiary|
Type of site
|Video streaming service|
|Founded||May 14, 2006|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Kun Gao (Crunchyroll Co-founder and GM), Tom Pickett (Ellation CEO)|
|Industry||Anime industry, anime, Manga, drama, video on demand|
|Users|| 40 million |
(2 million paying)
Crunchyroll is an American distributor, publisher, licensing company and international online community focused on video streaming East Asian media including anime, manga, drama, music, electronic entertainment, and content. Founded in 2006 by a group of University of California, Berkeley graduates, Crunchyroll's distribution channel and partnership program delivers content to over 35 million online community members worldwide. Crunchyroll is a subsidiary of Ellation, part of Otter Media, a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, a division of AT&T. Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco, Chisinau, and Tokyo, and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA).
Crunchyroll offers over 900 anime shows, more than 200 Asian dramas to users, and 50 manga titles, although not all programming is available worldwide due to licensing restrictions. In February 2017, Crunchyroll passed one million paid subscribers. Beside internet streaming, Crunchyroll also selects some anime titles to release on Blu-ray/DVD through its distribution partners (Funimation in the United States, Anime Limited in the United Kingdom).
Crunchyroll started in 2006 as a for-profit video upload and streaming site that specialized in hosting East Asian video content. Some of the content hosted on Crunchyroll included fansubbed versions of East Asian shows.
In 2008, Crunchyroll secured a capital investment of $4.05 million from the venture capital firm Venrock. The investment drew criticism from anime distributors and licensors Bandai Entertainment and Funimation as the site continued to allow users to upload illegal copies of licensed titles.
However, Crunchyroll eventually began securing legal distribution agreements with companies, including Gonzo, for an increasing number of titles. On January 8, 2009, after announcing a deal with TV Tokyo to host episodes of Naruto Shippuden, Crunchyroll stated that it was committed to removing all copyright-infringing material from its site and to hosting only content to which it had legitimate distribution rights.
On October 30, 2013, Crunchyroll began digitally distributing 12 different manga titles from Kodansha – series such as Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail were part of the manga that were available initially – through Crunchyroll Manga.
On December 2, 2013, The Chernin Group, former News Corp. president Peter Chernin's holding company, announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in Crunchyroll. A person with knowledge of the transaction said the price for the acquisition was close to $100 million. The Chernin Group said that Crunchyroll management and existing investor TV Tokyo will maintain a "significant" stake in the company.
On April 22, 2014, AT&T and The Chernin Group announced the formation of a joint venture to acquire, invest in and launch over-the-top (OTT) video services. Both companies committed over $500 million in funding to the venture. The new company was named Otter Media and became the majority owner of Crunchyroll. On August 3, 2015, Variety reported that Otter Media will unveil Ellation, a new umbrella company for its subscription-based video services including Crunchyroll. Ellation's services included VRV, which debuted in 2016, a video streaming platform described as targeting "geeks, gamers and lovers of comedy, fantasy and technology."
On October 22, 2015, the Anime News Network reported that Crunchyroll has 700,000 paying subscribers. In addition, the company announced that Crunchyroll and Sumitomo Corporation had created a joint venture to produce and invest in anime productions.
On April 11, 2016, Crunchyroll and Kadokawa Corporation announced the formation of a strategic alliance that gave Crunchyroll exclusive worldwide digital distribution rights (excluding Asia) for Kadokawa anime titles in the upcoming year. It also granted Crunchyroll the right to co-finance Kadokawa anime titles to be produced in the future.
On July 1, 2016, Crunchyroll announced plans to dub and release a number of series on home video.
On September 8, 2016, Crunchyroll announced a partnership with Funimation. Crunchyroll will stream selected Funimation titles, while Funimation will stream selected Crunchyroll titles, as well as their upcoming dubbed content. In addition, Funimation and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will act as distributors for Crunchyroll's home video catalog. On October 18, 2018, Funimation announced that their partnership with Crunchyroll has ended as a result of Sony Pictures Television's acquisition of Funimation and AT&T's acquisition of Crunchyroll's parent company Otter Media.
On November 4, 2017, a group of hackers managed to DNS hijack the official site for almost 6 hours. Users were redirected to a fake lookalike site which prompted users to download a ransomware under the guise of "CrunchyViewer," although no accident has been reported. Crunchyroll has filed a First information report against the hackers.
In 2018 Crunchyroll's parent company, Elation Media, announced it would begin to produce original content starting in 2019, starting with High Guardian Spice an anime-inspired series produced by San Francisco based Ellation Studios. The series is said to focus on the lives of four girls; Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Parsley, whom meet at Guardian Academy as they train to become guardians. The girls hone their battle and sorcery skills while also navigating adolescence and preparing to combat an ominous unknown threat.
With paid memberships, streaming to select Windows Phone devices (with OS 7.5 or higher), Roku devices, Boxee, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, and Vizio, Google and Internet enabled televisions is available. In June 2013 the service became available through Apple TV. It is also the last title for WiiWare released in October 2015. The service also has iOS and Android apps.
The Anime Awards
The Anime Awards, also known as the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, are annual awards given to recognize anime from the previous year. The awards were first held in January 2017. The judges create a short list in different categories and public votes for the winners are held online.
Voting was held between January 3–10, 2017. The results were announced on January 11, 2017, with the exception of the "Anime of the Year" prize, which was announced on January 28, 2017. More than 1.8 million votes from around the world were submitted. In response to complaints about vote rigging, Crunchyroll tweeted "We had very strong anti-cheating methods that gave us results in line with true audience sentiment" and "we had some surprisingly complex ways to fight multiple voting that worked based on multiple tests."
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger ().
The voting was held from January to early February 2018 in three separate rounds. The winners were announced on 24 February 2018. The awards had a number of changes, including having six nominations for all categories and the addition of new categories. The awards also expanded beyond just anime series, with the categories Best Film and Best Manga awarding the best anime film and manga series of the year 2017.
The awards were presented in a live show hosted by Crunchyroll, by multiple different people of some fame in the western anime community, including many Anime YouTubers.
|Anime of the Year|
|Best Girl||Best Boy|
|Best Manga||Best Hero|
|Best Villain||Best Action|
|Best Drama||Best Comedy|
|Best Slice of Life||Best Continuing Series|
|Best Opening||Best Ending|
|Best Animation||Best Score|
|Best Film||Best CGI|
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