Aniplex Starts New Specialty Channel for Anime Distribution in the US

Aniplex Starts New Specialty Channel for Anime Distribution in the US

On April 25, Aniplex, a major anime production company, launched Aniplex Channel, a free anime distribution site aimed at the U.S. market. The site is managed by Aniplex of America and is cooperating with Hulu by using their video distribution infrastructure.

Currently, 18 titles handled by Aniplex of America are available on the site. Among these are a great number of popular works including Blue Exorcist, Oreimo, Sword Art Online, Bakemonogatari, Fate/Zero, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Also, the latest episodes of the currently airing Valvrave the Liberator are being distributed concurrent to the TV broadcast in Japan.

Though the popularity of Japanese anime in the U.S. is high, there has been a severe reduction in the sales of anime DVDs and Blu-rays as compared to previous figures. Furthermore, TV broadcasts are at a lower point than they were 10 years ago. In the midst of this, video distribution services on the internet now hold much more power than they did before. When it comes to anime, the internet was previously a hotbed for bootleg files and illegal distribution. However, after the mid 2000s, there was a sudden increase in legitimate anime distribution services, which established an anime culture. Such services have now become indispensable to both fans and businesses.

Even still, it is challenging for Japan’s anime businesses to independently create such distribution services. However, Aniplex of America has an abundance of popular titles and know-how in the anime business when it comes to DVDs and videos.

One reason for Aniplex of America venturing into a business where the risk is high is that they also create and release DVDs and Blu-rays of anime. Their first release was Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in 2010. Since then, they have been increasing their titles little by little, giving rise to hit works. Their business continues to be on track.

The company also holds at its core the importance of finding more effective ways to promote works, releasing new works and news in a timely manner, and managing the quality of thei works. They are increasing their news distribution abilities by participating in anime events and strengthening their own news site. Their video distribution site is also one more piece in this puzzle.

Crunchyroll is another video distribution site aimed at the U.S. However, there is no doubt that Aniplex of America is covering a different area than Crunchyroll.

Aniplex of America:

Aniplex Channel:

Source: (Japanese)

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