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AX 2010: Crunchyroll Panel
By Chris Beveridge
July 01, 2010
Slipped in at the last minute, the folks at Crunchyroll ended up being the kick-off industry panel of Anime Expo 2010 with a fairly short panel overall that run for just about half an hour. Not surprisingly, we got a Power Point presentation in which fans once again must feel like they're in a boardroom. Crunchyroll has its image and style set with some of the things stated such as that they're the future of anime (more realistically, streaming is since it will soon be something that can be sent to every TV natively as new sets come onto the market) and Crunchyroll is intent on being a pioneer in that field. The big claim, the one that they can't live up to realistically, is to have 100% of the new anime streamed through them.
The company indicated that they're set to roll out things for Android based devices immediately through a new mobile site
that uses the latest Flash version that's out there. They're getting ready for their iPhone and iPad apps to handle streaming their series over 3G in addition to WiFi in July. And tweaks they've made to everything on their backend has them running much faster through the PlayStation 3 web browser. They did tease that they have a console based app announcement coming soon and their presence via the Boxee app which is often touted in talk through the Boxee Box that is still forthcoming.
Crunchyroll intends to continue its work with social gaming as they've done several now via Facebook and the like as they've learned that by building games, they've gotten people to watch the shows more. Which makes sense since you can get new people to try out a game and discover there's a show. They claim they have over one million monthly active users on their Facebook app games. They're expanding out of the anime area a bit with it as well by the new Last Airbender social media game they've announced.
Crunchyroll has about six million users and half of those are based in the US which is why their deals of the day, something that was intended to be a 2-3 week trial run, are geared towards that kind of shipping plan. The deals were likened to how Woot does business so they're using that model in trying to build it out and have some fun with it.
As stated, the company saw themselves break even in May and noted that half their revenue goes towards the Japanese licensors, if not more depending on the title. They're expecting to announce more about their digital manga initiative tomorrow while mentioning that Bitway has become a strategic partner, noting that they're a subsidiary of Toppan Printing which distributes some 25,000 titles in Japan digitally as they have links to practically every publisher.
It's easy to see how that's going to make every physical product publisher nervous.
In probably one of the more ironic moments of the panel that may be lost on some, a question was asked whether there will be a serious crackdown on fansubs and pirates in the coming months. The rep responded with, according to the transcript:
11:23:59 <bay|AX|CR> q: serious crackdown on fansubs and pirates in the coming months?
11:24:10 <bay|AX|CR> a: i've heard there is that digital manga initiative against piracy...
11:24:20 <bay|AX|CR> i wouldn't be surprised if it was the same for anime but i don't know anything personally
Thanks to Bayaob
for the excellent panel transcripts that he's provided us with for several years now.