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WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll to Expand into Europe with By Acquiring VIZ Media

Jason Gurwin

Crunchyroll, the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service which focuses on anime, manga, and dramas, has acquired a majority stake in VIZ Media Europe. VIZ Media in largest licensor and distributor of Japanese anime and manga in Europe. With the acquisition, Crunchyroll is hoping to broaden their appeal outside of the U.S., where much of their business exists today.

Crunchyroll has nearly 50 million registered users, with 2 million paid subscribers, and includes over 40,000 episodes across eight languages. The company has had success with shows like Attack of Titan, Naruto Shippuden, and Dragon Ball Super whose finale saw nearly 3 million viewers.

Crunchyroll is available free with ads, or can be subscribed to ad-free at $6.95 month, or bundled with VRV for $9.99. The premium VRV bundle includes Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Nick, Shudder, Boomerang, and Curiosity Stream. Amazon Prime members can currently get a 30-Day Free Trial of the service through Twitch Prime.

Otter Media, which was the parent company of Crunchyroll, was acquired by WarnerMedia last August for $1 billon. The media group was a conglomerate of streaming services including Fullscreen (studio for online creators), Rooster Teeth (videos for gamers) — as well as Crunchyroll (anime) and VRV (video subscription marketplace) which now makes up Ellation.

In May, Ellation was placed under Bob Greenblatt, who is in charge of WarnerMedia’s Entertainment group. He oversees HBO, the linear cable networks TNT, TBS and truTV, and Warner’s upcoming Direct-to-Consumer streaming business. Reporting to him are Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, who will now oversee Warner’s streaming services with along with former CEO of Hulu Andy Forssell.