Published on August 7th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson1
AT&T buys Crunchyroll and parent company Otter Media
AT&T has announced the rumored buyout of Otter Media, the parent company behind the popular streaming animation services Crunchyroll and VRV, both of which are available as apps on Apple TV. A deal reportedly in the works for years, industry watchers value the sale at more than $1 billion.
Terms and the price of the sale were not revealed. Otter Media will become part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit that was created after the AT&T Time Warner merger. With the purchase, Otter Media ranks as one of the most valuable media upstarts of the last decade, according to Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates, a firm focusing on emerging consumer technology.
In addition to the two networks more highly known by consumers, Otter Media is a leading subscription, advertising and content company, comprises wholly-owned subsidiaries Ellation, an online subscription video service provider, as well as a full-service digital media company, Fullscreen (a studio and advertising agency for YouTube creators), 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 has three Apple TV apps for some of its most popular brands – the Crunchyroll App, the VRV app, and the Rooster Teeth app – with the latter encompassing eight channels of podcasts, gaming videos, live-action shorts and movies.
Otter Media 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, the company said. Additionally, the company is one of the top-ten subscription video-on-demand providers with more than 2 million paying subscribers.
What AT&T now plans to do with Otter Media and its assets is the big question. The buyout is strongly focused on growing AT&Ts library of content for its various networks and services.
In June, AT&T completed its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner, which includes HBO, Warner Bros. and the Turner cable networks, growing its library of content to strengthen its digital assets.