Crunchyroll snags four million subs & reveals Idris Elba development deal

Anime streaming service Crunchyroll – which is in the process of being acquired by Sony – has surpassed its latest milestone of four million subscribers and unveiled a deal with actor-producer Idris Elba.

The service’s paying subscriber total stood at three million in July, while registered users – who can access some content for free – have increased in that time from 70 million to 100 million.

Paying subscribers are on average watching 100 minutes of content a day, up from 85 minutes per day in 2019 and Crunchyroll added that premium users have watched more than 35 billion minutes of content as of summer 2020.

Joanne Waage, GM at Crunchyroll, said: “For more than a decade, through anime and anime-inspired originals, Crunchyroll has been leading the charge for the popularisation of adult dramatic animation and we are fast becoming the epicentre for the next generation of animation fans, as is evidenced by our incredible growth in registered users and subscribers.”

The service is currently owned by WarnerMedia subsidiary Otter Media, but is set to change hands to Sony after the parties agreed a sale in December, which is expected to be closed this year.

Idris Elba expansion

Announcing the milestone, Crunchyroll also revealed that it has secured a deal with Idris and Sabrina Elba in conjunction with Idris’ Green Door Pictures and Sabrina’s Pink Towel Picture to develop an Afro-futuristic sci-fi series currently titled Dantai.

Both will serve as executive producers on the series, which marks their first foray into anime.

The Elbas said: “We’re really excited to be announcing this deal on our first anime. We’re both fans of the genre and see a huge opportunity to create something unique for a powerhouse like Crunchyroll. The story of ‘Dantai’ is our first collaboration as producers together and is one that is close to our hearts.”

Waage said: “Gens Y and Z have experienced superhero fatigue and are hungry for the new stories and ideas that our creators tell. This development deal with Sabrina and Idris Elba is another example of how we’re working with best-in-class partners to bring in new audiences and tell fresh and compelling stories through a medium that transcends genres and generations.”

Anime is surging in popularity around the world, with companies such as Netflix striking deals with creators and striking a partnership with acclaimed Japanese firm Studio Ghibli.

 

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