Warner Media reorganizing its digital distribution assets stokes fears Crunchyroll and VRV could be in trouble

Image result for Crunchyroll and VRV

Anime News Network reported Wednesday that Warner Media is consolidating its digital and broadcast assets into a single “Global Kids and Young Adults” Unit. This effects not just Otter Media–which is the holding company for Ellation, which is the parent company for Crunchyroll and VRV–but also Adult Swim, Toonami and Cartoon Network among others. AT&T bought Otter Media last year just before their merger with Warner Brothers was finalized. I reported on it when it happened but AT&T shut down Drama Fever as part of the consolidation process. A few other content providers suffered a similar fate.

Given that, many Crunchyroll and VRV subscription holders are understandably nervous Warner Media might decide to shut down VRV or Crunchyroll or both to cut costs. Some believe Funimation “suddenly” ending its partnership with Crunchyroll last year after just two years is a sign they don’t have a lot of confidence in Crunchyroll’s new owners. Funimation made the call shortly after the merger was finalized much to Crunchyroll’s surprise last year. I didn’t realize at the time the merger may have been a factor.

As I announced before, I bought a 12-month subscription to Crunchyroll in December. I do think the concern is warranted but given Crunchyroll is a global powerhouse, I don’t think it’s any kind of trouble anytime soon. I would feel better if Crunchyroll broke away from VRV and became independent but given its value, I doubt Warner Media would just give it away.

As an aside and on a somewhat related topic, I do plan to buy a Roku very soon. That way, I won’t need to use my PS4 to stream Crunchyroll (as well as WWE Network) on my TV, which I have been doing after my laptop broke. I’ll use the money I planned to use to register for Anime Boston 2019 to get one. I would also be able watch Viki and AsianCrush once more–I haven’t watched either of them since my laptop broke (!). Later on once I have stable income, I’ll get a subscription with Viki at least. I’ll also renew my subscription with Crunchyroll when the time comes, too.




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