Anime & Manga News

Crunchyroll Acquires Majority Stake in VIZ Media Europe Group

by ImperfectBlue
Sep 6, 10:57 PM | 12 Comments

Crunchyroll, the anime streaming division of WarnerMedia's Otter Media digital company, acquired a majority stake in VIZ Media Europe Group, the top anime distributor and manga publisher in Europe. The Hitotsubashi Group—comprised of Shogakukan., Shueisha, and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions—will retain a minority share of VIZ Media Europe.

The agreement, which the two companies signed on Friday, will pair Crunchyroll's global streaming platform with VIZ Media Europe's network of partners, distributors, and licensees. Leaders from the involved companies all spoke highly of the move. Nobuhiro Oga, Senior Managing Director at Shogakukan, stated the company intends "to introduce even more of [their] works" to European audiences.

The VIZ Media Europe Group consists of VIZ Media Europe (VME), Kazé, VIZ Media Switzerland (VMS), Anime Versand, and AV Visionen. The company supplies content to television stations and video-on-demand services throughout Europe and parts of the Middle East and Africa, distributing more than 40,000 hours of animation in over 100 countries.

Titles currently licensed for distribution by VIZ Media Europe Group include Bleach, Death Note, Detective Conan, Naruto, and One Punch Man.

Crunchyroll is the largest legal streaming platform for anime in the world, with over 1,000 titles available to its 50 million users and 2 million paid subscribers. The company currently sponsors as many as 180 events worldwide a year, and plans to release original content from Tokyo and Los Angeles-based studios alongside their current video-on-demand lineup.

Source: Press Release, Variety

12 Comments Recent Comments

Rei_III said:
Sad news...

I wonder if the books and DVDs prices will be impacted too, US pricetags are insane compared to our local ones (France has the "single price" law but that's for blocking unfair competition between libraries and supermarkets/Internet order sellers).

@VyseLegendaire "HorribleSubs is a branch of CrunchyRoll" is a joke, right?


heg said:
this might be good for Europe paying fans. Sometimes market monopoly is good lol

No, monopoly is NEVER good, that's just some US legend. In France, the group had already its own internet broadcast service with its own catalogue, concurrent to Crunchyroll. It was one of the three major internet anime broadcast services. I doubt it will stay alive, Crunchyroll will simply takeover the licenses, ( I don't see how this will expand the list of available titles in the countries.) Now, only TWO will exist, thus a prices raise should later occur.


I don't know what 'unfair competition' is, sounds like some joke. As for "monopoly = good = American myth", lawl. No America does not believe monopolies are good. However competition should not be unfairly stymied. However many major corporations have managed to purchase immunity from prosecution and punishment for their deceptive and deleterious practices and that is the major issue we have had since the beginning.

I know in Europe they have the propensity to actually fine the behemoths which is rare and usually way too late in the USA. Prices on DVDs in America is simple, because the sales are almost very low and now exclusively done through online/Amazon and streaming is way bigger here. Japan has the same issue with every BD release being insanely costly and a collector's item.

I read somewhere that Crunchryoll's founder only began the site with the agreement of releasing all of the subs free as well, and this was done in conjunction with the HS founder/team. There is no legal friction between them because they were explicitly given permission to do this. CR founder didn't believe in paywalling anime and knew the free releases were the heart of the community.

Sep 8, 9:09 PM by VyseLegendaire

People still pay to watch anime in 2019?

Wow......

Sep 8, 4:19 PM by Naxrrhid

That doesn't really sound all that lovely. Though it might be mostly because I'm not really fond of cn's services and their quality as a normal consumer.

Sep 8, 9:36 AM by Hakaminah

Those are some sad news I'm not a fan of Crunchyroll especially of monopolies.
I guess I'll continue to search for one piece then.

Sep 8, 8:26 AM by Xstasy

I wish they'd fix their Kindle app instead of abandoning it... And the funniest thing, you can't use the shonenjump membership on it. It's the same company and the same app but cannot be used, ah. c_c

Sep 8, 8:22 AM by Shonen-Heartful

Sad news...

I wonder if the books and DVDs prices will be impacted too, US pricetags are insane compared to our local ones (France has the "single price" law but that's for blocking unfair competition between libraries and supermarkets/Internet order sellers).

@VyseLegendaire "HorribleSubs is a branch of CrunchyRoll" is a joke, right?


heg said:
this might be good for Europe paying fans. Sometimes market monopoly is good lol

No, monopoly is NEVER good, that's just some US legend. In France, the group had already its own internet broadcast service with its own catalogue, concurrent to Crunchyroll. It was one of the three major internet anime broadcast services. I doubt it will stay alive, Crunchyroll will simply takeover the licenses, ( I don't see how this will expand the list of available titles in the countries.) Now, only TWO will exist, thus a prices raise should later occur.

Sep 8, 6:16 AM by Rei_III

What brilliant news!!! Looking forward to seeing many more animes being made available to us over here in the UK!!! ^_^

Sep 7, 6:07 AM by Ken39Whistle

HorribleSubs is a branch of CrunchyRoll

Sep 7, 3:17 AM by VyseLegendaire

Does anyone know why CR doesn't take legal actions against HS or other rippers for ripping their contents?

Because they were originally an illegal entity themselves, running on fans' donations for illegal anime contents and allowing users to upload illegal contents on their server/ platform. They made enough money to find ways to establish a platform to legalize their services. Just for the knowledge of the newcomers in the anime scene.

Sep 7, 3:00 AM by shanimebib

caio_brb said:
So, what about VIZ Media in US? Is it the same company?

VIZ Media LLC is still owned by the Hitotsubashi Group. Viz Media Europe is the sister company of that, in which Crunchyroll now holds the majority stake.
http://vizeurope.com/en/parents-company

Sep 7, 2:22 AM by zagzee

this might be good for Europe paying fans since that means more anime and manga will be available so sometimes market monopoly is good lol

Sep 6, 11:21 PM by heg

@ImperfectBlue

So, what about VIZ Media in US? Is it the same company?


Mod Edit: Removed pointless quote of the entire article.

Sep 6, 11:16 PM by caio_brb