Crunchyroll has parted ways with French streaming service Anime Digital Network

EXCLUSIVE – The Sony subsidiary sold its shares in the platform to 330,000 subscribers, a specialist in Japanese animation, to Media Participations.

The Anime Digital Network (ADN) streaming service has changed its banner. The French platform specializing in Japanese cartoons has until now been jointly owned by the publishing group Média Participations (Dupuis, Dargaud, La Martinière, Kana…) and by Crunchyroll, a subsidiary of Sony. John Easum, President Europe and Middle East of Crunchyroll, announced the Figaro Asblindingin partnership. He sold his shares in the French group for an undisclosed sum.

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this”amicable divorcecomes as Crunchyroll – acquired by Sony in 2021 for $1.15 billion – seeks to focus a manga and anime offering around its brand. For example, in March the group absorbed the content catalog of its subsidiary Wakanim, another French platform. “In June 2022, we announced that the publisher Kaze– which includes manga publishing and DVD/Blu-ray collections in France and Germany – will be under the Crunchyroll brand, John Easum recalled. By combining our brands, we can provide fans with the best anime experience here on Crunchyroll.“.

Although competitors, Crunchyroll France, Anime Digital Network and Wakanim found themselves last year in the lap of Japan’s Sony, which acquired their parent companies. These specialists compete for a pool of 9 million French consumers who say they watch anime at least once a month according to an Ifop study. A cake that should also be shared by Netflix, Disney and Amazon, which buy a lot of animated content to attract teenagers and young adults.

Anime Digital Network still claims the place of French leader in the genre. The company currently has 330,000 subscribers, for an annual turnover of 20 million euros. For its part, Crunchyroll does not specify the number of its subscribers in France. And he also did not explain why he parted with the number one market …

In an email to subscribers, ADN warned that this divorce “will result in an evolution of the catalog with the disappearance of some titles. But sure, new titles will come and our offer, even if it changes, is that you always know that there are nuggets obtained by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.»

Monopolies are not good for anyone»

To stand out from its competitors, ADN made a few editorial changes a few months ago. The platform hosts very popular Japanese anime like My Hero Academia, One Piece hope Boruto. But recently, it has been added to the content of its catalog adapted to Franco-Belgian comics such as Titeuf or Tintin. In addition to Japanese works, the company wants to be a reference in the French and European animation sector, which is much less crowded than manga. To mark this openness strategy, the name of the platform will be Animation Digital Network.

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We’ll be fine with new exclusive content“, explained Julien Papelier, the deputy general manager of Media Participation. The synergy seems natural between the intellectual properties of Media Participations, the leading comic book publishing group in France, and the catalog of Anime Digital Network. “Animate content in Media Participations, yes, but only if that’s what the public is looking for. We don’t want to push licenses at all costs“said Julien Papelier.

The platforms that worked in good agreement until now will compete again for exclusivity. The little Frenchman remained confident against the American giant. “There is competition, but we know how to protect ourselves. We know that monopolies are not good for anyone, not for the market or for the consumer.“, lined up the deputy general manager. Anime Digital Network hopes to keep most of its catalog.

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