Sony’s Crunchyroll Launches Free 24-Hour Anime Streaming Channel to Attract New Fans
Sony-owned anime service Crunchyroll is expanding its reach by launching a new 24-hour free, ad-supported channel in the U.S. The channel aims to promote the Japanese animation format and introduce new viewers to Crunchyroll’s core offerings.
Starting October 11, the Crunchyroll channel will be available on LG Channels, the Roku Channel, and Vizio WatchFree+. Amazon’s Freevee will join on October 17. The channel is a collaboration between Crunchyroll and Game Show Network (GSN), both of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The channel will feature older shows dubbed in English, while new and premium anime content will remain on Crunchyroll’s subscription and ad-supported VOD services. At launch, the channel will offer series such as “Horimiya,” “Ranking of Kings,” “Moriarty the Patriot,” and more. Crunchyroll also plans to introduce other programming blocks to showcase Japan’s wide range of anime.
Crunchyroll, which now has over 10 million paying subscribers following its merger with Funimation, hopes this new channel will further grow its audience.
Rahul Purini, president of Crunchyroll, describes the channel as a “gateway to the world of anime” that will guide viewers to discover new stories and characters. Tim Carry, GSN’s EVP of distribution, expresses excitement about the response from platform partners and the opportunity to bring this channel to market.
In another move to enhance its accessibility, Crunchyroll has secured its button on Sony’s 2023 Bravia TV remote controls. This button will allow owners to launch the Crunchyroll app easily and enjoy their favorite anime series. The button is available on the new Bravia models distributed across different regions.
Crunchyroll offers over 18,000 hours of anime content, including over 44,000 episodes and feature films.
With a presence in over 200 countries and territories, Crunchyroll operates across various platforms and engages in events, games, consumer products, and manga publishing. It is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex, with Sony acquiring the service for $1.18 billion from AT&T in 2021 and merging it with Funimation.