Oct. 22, 2015
Crunchyroll & Sumitomo Join Forces to Create Anime Investment Joint Venture
Strategic Partnership to Produce Animation for the Global Market
Crunchyroll, Inc., the leading global destination and platform for Japanese content, and Sumitomo Corporation, one of Japan's major integrated trading and investment business enterprises, today announced a new joint venture to produce animation for the international market.
At the core of this strategic partnership is a joint venture for investing in new anime productions, which will be distributed by Crunchyroll to a global audience. Currently, Crunchyroll distributes anime immediately following Japan TV broadcast in seven languages to a global base of over 10 million viewers monthly.
Mr. Iehisa Nakamura, Corporate Officer, General Manager, of Media Division in Sumitomo Corporation says, “Crunchyroll is a leading company in the field of streaming video and is well known among anime fans overseas, with whom they have built trust and a strong bond. With this partnership, the voice of worldwide anime fans can reach anime production studios directly through the Crunchyroll platform, which I believe will produce fascinating anime for a worldwide audience as a result. We would like to contribute to the development of the anime industry by creating new anime for worldwide Japanese anime fans with Crunchyroll."
Kun Gao, Co-Founder and CEO of Crunchyroll, says, “Sumitomo is a leader in media and lifestyle businesses. Through their operating expertise in J:COM, the largest cable business in Japan, to their investment in entertainment and movies, and their recent successes in retail and ecommerce in South East Asia, they have demonstrated a global perspective in media distribution and ecommerce. We are very excited about our partnership with Sumitomo to create new anime for fans worldwide.”
Crunchyroll is the official destination for the largest and latest lineup of Anime as well as popular drama and Manga. Crunchyroll brings hit shows like Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, and One Piece to millions of viewers around the world and allows them to purchase related merchandise through its online store. Through its app on game consoles, set-top boxes, mobile devices and more, Crunchyroll delivers content from leading Asian media producers directly to viewers translated professionally in multiple languages. The service is available for free or through a premium offering that allows users to watch ad-free with access to simulcasts—top series available immediately after Japanese broadcast. Crunchyroll’s majority investor is Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group. Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco and Tokyo, and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA).
About Sumitomo Corporation
Sumitomo Corporation is a leading general trading company, with 115 locations in 67 countries and 24 domestic locations. The Sumitomo Corporation Group consists of nearly 800 companies with more than 70,000 personnel. Its core business units are Metal Products; Transportation & Construction Systems; Environment & Infrastructure; Media, Network, Lifestyle Related Goods & Services; and Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics. In the Media Division, Sumitomo’s main businesses are Cable TV business, broadcasting and cinema businesses.
Corporate Communications Department,