Crunchyroll and Japanese publishers Kadokawa announced their new alliance yesterday, enabling their plans for the streaming service’s partnership in anime distribution and, in future, even co-financing Kadokawa’s forthcoming anime titles. This strategic team-up has also been organised to extend into Kadokawa’s recently purchased 51% stake in Yen Press, as in a joint venture with the Hachette Book Group imprint, Crunchyroll will be able to stake their own claim in manga and light novel publishing.
The original press release goes into detail on the agreement between the three partners:
The strategic alliance between Crunchyroll and KADOKAWA involves, among other initiatives, (i) KADOKAWA’s licensing to Crunchyroll exclusive rights for the worldwide distribution (excluding Asia) for KADOKAWA’s slate of upcoming anime titles for the upcoming year, (ii) co-financing by Crunchyroll in KADOKAWA’s anime titles to be produced in the future and (iii) comprehensive marketing collaboration between KADOKAWA’s publishing business and Crunchyroll’s distribution platform business. Both parties regard the alliance as an important first step towards possibly further expanding relations in the future.
To bolster KADOKAWA’s planned formation of a publishing joint venture with the major U.S. publisher Hachette Book Group, specializing in manga and light novels (scheduled for May), Crunchyroll and KADOKAWA will seek to strengthen their relationship through a marketing campaign with the book publishing and anime distribution businesses, as well as joint efforts to expand relevant merchandising businesses, in order to maximize the growth potential of Japanese content in the North American market.
Crunchyroll’s CEO Kun Gao said of the alliance, “The hunger for compelling anime, manga and light novel content is growing at an astounding rate throughout the world, and Kadokawa has always been at the forefront of creating that content. We look forward to working closely with Kadokawa to provide Crunchyroll fans with access to the anime, merchandise, and books that they have demonstrated they want time and again.”