By Evan DeSimone
Anime streaming platform Crunchyroll announced that it will expand its popular service to Italy with a roster of animated series translated into Italian via its new regional portal, Crunchyroll.it.
Launched in 2008 as a streaming service delivering popular Japanese animated series to western audiences, Crunchyroll has made waves by licensing and simulcasting new episodes mere hours after they air in Japan. In 2013, Crunchyroll was acquired by the Chernin Group as part of a digital video buying spree that would ultimately give rise to Otter Media, Chernin’s co-venture with AT&T that also includes streaming video players Fullscreen, CreativeBug and ScoompiTV.
Crunchyroll’s new Italian hub will feature simulcasts of 15 licensed animated series including popular shows like Naruto Shippuden, Fairy Tale and Sailor Moon Crystal. All the series will be subtitled in Italian, making them easily accessible to local audiences.
Using a combination of ad-supported and subscription-based content, Crunchyroll has carved out a substantial and lucrative niche delivering Asian content to western audiences making it a profitable gem in Otter Media’s growing portfolio. The company’s Italian expansion comes at a time when Crunchyroll is gradually integrating more closely with other Otter controlled properties as part of Otter’s expansive new umbrella platform, Ellation.