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Chernin Group Acquires Majority Stake in Crunchyroll Anime Service

2 Dec, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Former News Corp. executive Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group has acquired a majority stake in anime content service Crunchyroll. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Existing investor TV Tokyo will continue to hold a stake in the company.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Crunchyroll,” Chernin said. “The Crunchyroll founders and senior management team have accomplished two incredible things.  One, they have built one of the leading online video companies in the industry. And, two, they have created the best and largest community for anime video in the world.  We couldn't be more excited about the future.

“Online video is growing faster than any other sector within media, and we feel that with Crunchyroll, we have a fantastic, anchor platform."

Founded in 2007, San Francisco-based Crunchyroll offers both free, ad-supported online video and a subscription VOD service, with both new and catalog anime and live action content. The service is currently available on PCs, smartphones, connected HDTVs, gaming consoles, Apple TV, Roku and other devices.

“[Chernin] is the perfect partner for us,” said Kun Gao, founder and CEO of Crunchyroll. “We decided to work with [Chernin] based on their passion for the online video space, expertise in media, understanding of creative content and strong track record of growing businesses.”

Yukio Kawasaki, GM of TV Tokyo’s animation division, added: “We have had a phenomenal relationship with Crunchyroll dating back to 2009 as both a content provider and an investor. Crunchyroll has opened up new markets and revenue streams to us.”

This past summer, Chernin was said to be making a joint bid for Hulu, partnering with Time Warner Cable, AT&T, DirecTV and others.

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