WarnerMedia Now Fully Owns Anime Streaming Service Crunchyroll

WarnerMedia Now Fully Owns Anime Streaming Service Crunchyroll

WarnerMedia Now Fully Owns Anime Streaming Service Crunchyroll

Today (7th August), Cartoon Network’s ultimate parent company – AT&T has fully acquired Otter Media, the owner of Japanese anime streaming service – Crunchyroll and the multiple entertainment brand aggregator streaming service – VRV. Complete control of Otter Media will be under the responsibility of AT&T’s entertainment division – WarnerMedia. Before the full buyout, The company was a joint-venture between AT&T and The Cherin Group – a media and entertainment investment company. The full acquisition of Otter Media includes its wholly-owned subsidiary Ellation, an online subscription video service provider that owns and operates Crunchyroll and VRV, entertainment company – Rooster Teeth and YouTube multichannel network – Fullscreen. Otter Media also has ownership stakes in global content studio Gunpowder & Sky, as well as Hello Sunshine, a media company founded by Reese Witherspoon.

Since its founding in 2014, Otter Media has established a global audience of more than 93 million unique monthly customers and is on reach to target 75 billion video views this year. The company is also one of the top-ten subscription video on demand providers with more than 2 million subscribers. VRV subscribers have access to Otter Media’s Crunchyroll and Rooster Teeth but also rival anime service – Funimation and also Cartoon Hangover – a channel that features original animated series from Frederator Studios, the same company that co-produced Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time.

WarnerMedia already has an anime content brand – Toonami, which is an anime programming block that airs on Saturday nights on Adult Swim USA, however no information has been released on how the full acquisition of Crunchyroll would affect the existing programming block. Although, last November, Jason DeMarco, Creative Director for on-air at Adult Swim and Producer and co-creator of Toonami has said the block will continue until at least the year 2021.

http://comicbook.com/anime/2017/11/19/toonami-to-continue-until-2021/

From The WarnerMedia Press Release: AT&T Acquires Full Ownership of Otter Media

AT&T has acquired The Chernin Group’s controlling interest in Otter Media, the joint venture between the two companies. Otter Media, a leading subscription, advertising and content
company, comprises wholly-owned subsidiaries Ellation, an online subscription video service provider, with offerings under the Crunchyroll and VRV brands, as well as a full-service digital media company, Fullscreen, and its Rooster Teeth brand. Otter also has ownership stakes in global content studio Gunpowder & Sky, as well as Hello Sunshine, a media company founded by Reese Witherspoon.

Otter Media will be a part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit and Tony Goncalves, who was appointed Otter CEO earlier this year, will continue to run the company, reporting to WarnerMedia CEO, John Stankey.

“We are thrilled to incorporate the Otter Media brands and talent into WarnerMedia,” said John Stankey, WarnerMedia CEO. “Working with Tony, we look to harness Otter’s expertise in feeding the passion of on-line audiences to augment our portfolio of digital assets and help us further engage, connect and entertain consumers around the globe.”

AT&T and The Chernin Group founded Otter Media in 2014 to invest and develop platforms and properties that capitalized on the growth of direct-to-consumer subscription and advertising models, as well as the rise of new digital media brands.

In the four years since Otter Media’s founding, interest in consuming video online and via mobile devices has only accelerated. In that time, the company has established a global audience of more than 93 million unique monthly consumers and is on pace to deliver over 75 billion video views this year. Additionally, the company is one of the top-ten subscription video on demand (SVOD) providers with more than 2 million paying SVOD subscribers.

“From the outset, Randall Stephenson and John Stankey championed the Otter strategy and vision, and AT&T has been an ideal partner in building the business — smart, creative and supportive,” said Peter Chernin, CEO, The Chernin Group. “With AT&T’s direct-to-consumer relationships, vast data and varied content, I believe they can accelerate Otter’s growth. The combination with WarnerMedia will create a new-era media company, serving customers with every type of content delivered through every possible distribution channel.”

“The Chernin Group’s support and expertise has helped us expand Otter’s capabilities and refine our strategy over the past several years, and today’s news is a testament to our team’s dedication to super-serving passionate audiences across multiple platforms,” said Tony Goncalves, Otter Media CEO. “Otter’s digital-native talent pool understands that today’s viewers want their entertainment mobile, social and community-centric. We plan to harness Otter’s talent and scale to engage and entertain fans around the world on their own terms. And we will continue to be agile and nimble — a hallmark of Otter Media’s culture — so we can deliver the digital, social-first content that our audiences want.”

“Otter is delivering on our mission to build a leading portfolio of direct-to-consumer media brands that have passionate fans and a multi-pronged business model,” said Jesse Jacobs, President, The Chernin Group. “With AT&T’s portfolio in media, distribution and content, combined with Tony’s leadership, we believe full ownership by AT&T will take these businesses to the next level.”

The Otter Media companies have built large networks of talented creators and influencers and have deep libraries of video content. The Otter Media portfolio includes Ellation, a transformative entertainment company and home of industry-leading platforms Crunchyroll and VRV. Crunchyroll is a SVOD service that gives millions of fans access to a vast library of anime content. VRV aggregates and distributes content from multiple over-the-top content providers, including Crunchyroll and Rooster Teeth.

Another key part of the Otter Media family, Fullscreen, is a digital media company that empowers talent and brands to build and monetize highly engaged, social-first audiences through best-in-class strategy, creative services and technology. Fullscreen began as a network of creators, social influencers and YouTube stars that is now 4,500 strong. Since its inception, it has diversified to include branded content, traditional advertising and social media marketing.

Rooster Teeth serves up original shorts, series, comedies and animation for a diverse gaming audience through an owned and operated SVOD service and website, as well as by licensing content to third parties.

AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit was created after the close of the Time Warner acquisition in June 2018. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it did not have a material effect on AT&T’s first-half 2018 results when the majority of the deal was funded. This acquisition does not change the company’s plan to reduce its net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA ratio to the 2.5x range by the end of 2019 and to its historical range by the end of 2022.

http://www.warnermediagroup.com/newsroom/press-releases/2018/08/07/att-acquires-full-ownership-of-otter-media

Turner’s Adult Swim Buys Big Pixel Studios: The Game Developer Of The Rick And Morty Themed Mobile Game – Pocket Mortys

Turner's Adult Swim Buys Big Pixel Studios: The Game Developer Of The Rick And Morty Themed Mobile Game - Pocket Mortys

Turner’s Adult Swim Buys Big Pixel Studios: The Game Developer Of The Rick And Morty Themed Mobile Game – Pocket Mortys

Today (21st May), Turner’s young adult entertainment brand – Adult Swim has announced that they’ve acquired the game studio behind the highly successful Rick and Morty mobile game – Pocket Mortys. The game studio that developed Pocket Mortys is UK-based game developer – Big Pixel Studios, located in the Shoreditch area of London and not far from Turner’s brand new European headquarters which will open next year. Adult Swim bought the studio as part of their gaming and digital expansion plan, and to continue their commitment to create more multi-platform content based on the popular animated sci-fi comedy show. Adult Swim Games has already gained respect in the indie gaming industry as a game publisher and wants to expand upon its success. Since the game’s release, Big Pixel Studios has always been adding new features to game to keep players interested and there’s more features coming soon.

Rick and Morty was the number one comedy show across all U.S. television in 2017, and has recently been renewed for seventy episodes as part of a long-term deal. Pocket Mortys is inspired by popular role-playing monster collecting and battling video game franchises such as Pokémon but with a Rick and Morty twist. In the show, each dimension has a unique Rick and Morty who often meet at the Citadel of Ricks which is also the main center-point of the game. In the game, there’s over 150 different Mortys to collect, all weird in their own way. Also, you’ll have to train and combine Mortys to level them up, go to different dimensions and challenge other Ricks for a Morty battle. The ultimate goal is to defeat every member of the Council of Ricks and to collect every Morty in the game.

The game also features other well known characters from the series including Mr. Meeseeks, Bird Person and Jerry and also side-missions, tournaments and also crafting. The game introduced multiplayer battling last summer, and during the premiere of Rick and Morty season three, there was a weekly release of all-new avatars for fans to collect including: Commander Rick, Judge Morty, Summer, Tinkles, Scary Terry, Ants in My Eyes Johnson, and many more. To date, there’s more than 250 Mortys and 100 avatar to collect and there’s more to come too!

Pocket Mortys launched in January 2016 and became one of Adult Swim’s most downloaded mobile games to date. Pocket Mortys can be downloaded for free on Google Play for Android devices and the iTunes App Store for iOS devices.

From The Turner USA Press Release (via Turner UK) Adult Swim Expands Gaming Universe With Acquisition of Game Studio Big Pixel

Turner’s Adult Swim announced today the acquisition of UK-based game developer Big Pixel Studios. This acquisition is part of the network’s increased investment in gaming and overall commitment to creating more multi-platform content with Adult Swim’s popular IP.

Along with other mobile titles for the network, Big Pixel developed the highly successful game Pocket Mortys based off characters from Adult Swim’s hit animated series Rick and Morty, the #1 comedy across all of television in 2017, that was recently picked up for an additional 70 episodes. The studio is continuing to add more elements to Pocket Mortys for fans to explore.

After more than eight years of rolling out highly original and addictive titles like Amateur Surgeon and Robot Unicorn Attack, Adult Swim Games has built a respected reputation in the industry as a top indie publisher and now looks to take its success to the next level.

“We’re thrilled to have Dave and the team at Big Pixel join Adult Swim Games,” said vice president of Adult Swim Games, Jeff Olsen. “Having such a talented creative team in-house will allow us to build much deeper and more immersive games for fans.”

This past summer Pocket Mortys introduced multiplayer capability and launched a weekly release of all-new avatars timed to season three episodes of Rick and Morty for fans to collect including: Commander Rick, Judge Morty, Summer, Tinkles, Scary Terry, Ants in My Eyes Johnson, and many more. In total, fans can currently collect more than 250 Mortys and over 100 avatars in the game, with even more new content and characters being introduced in 2018.

“We are extremely proud of the relationship between Big Pixel Studios and Adult Swim Games resulting in the success of Pocket Mortys,” said David Burpitt, managing director of Big Pixel Studios. “I hope our players are as excited as we are knowing that this new chapter puts us in a fantastic position to develop existing and new titles for them to enjoy.”

Pocket Mortys lets players assemble the best team of Mortys to train and battle each other in the delight of the Council of Ricks. With multiplayer, fans can battle each other across new dimensions putting their Morty training skills to the ultimate test while collecting dozens of new Mortys and avatars.

Since its launch in January 2016, Pocket Mortys is one of Adult Swim’s most downloaded mobile games to date. Pocket Mortys is available now for free on Google Play and the App Store.

About Big Pixel Studios

Founded in 2009 by three veterans of the games industry, Big Pixel Studios has gained a reputation by releasing a collection of exciting and original IP with innovative gameplay and unmistakable character. The studio has become a trusted go-to by returning clients to enhance high-profile IP for their brands.

https://www.bigpixelstudios.co.uk/

http://www.turner.com/pressroom/adult-swim-expands-gaming-universe-acquisition-game-studio-big-pixel