Otter Media’s Chief & Former Hulu CEO to Oversee WarnerMedia’s Streaming Service, As CrunchyRoll, Rooster Teeth, and Fullscreen Move Under Entertainment Group
Otter Media, which is 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 March, Ellation was placed under Warner Bros., along with Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, as part of a major WarnerMedia reorganization.
Today, it was announced that the unit will now be 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. With the reorganization, Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, will now oversee Warner’s upcoming streaming service. Andy Forssell, most recently COO of Otter Media and former CEO of Hulu, will move to the role of EVP and General Manager of the new streaming service reporting to Goncalves.
Last month, WarnerMedia’s Senior Director of Marketing, Liz Moothart, shared that the most successful part of Otter Media — Crunchyroll has nearly 50 million registered users, with 2 million paid subscribers. The streaming service which focuses on anime, manga, and dramas — 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.
Whether Otter Media will be integrated into upcoming WarnerMedia’s streaming service has yet to been seen. That SVOD product has been described as a three-tier service — differing from Netflix’s approach. It is expected that the entry-level tier will focus on movies without original programming, while a second tier would include original programming and blockbuster, and a third tier which includes Warner-owned and licensed content. The company will preview the service in September/October which Stephenson described last month as “a detailed look at the product, and that includes the breadth of new and existing content.”