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Twitch To Stream Crunchyroll Anime Marathon

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Twitch is offering a free five-day marathon of the Crunchyroll's 15 top anime shows starting July 27 at 6 p.m EDT. The full schedule listing is now posted for the July 27—August 1 broadcast on the Twitch website.

The two companies have partnered to bring Crunchyroll’s professionally produced anime and manga content to the Twitch platform. Twitch will reveal the full list of 15 shows to be streamed during the five-day event, but we know they will include Mob Psycho 100Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, and Yuri!!! on Ice. The companies are betting on the fact that there is crossover interest between their two audiences—serious gamers and anime fans.

During winter 2015 they started to test the waters with other kinds of content by offering what they have termed "programmatic TV" content offerings, broadcasting back-to-back binge broadcasts (The Joy of Painting, Julia Child’s The French Chef, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Power Rangers and two seasons of Amazon pilot programming) to see what other types of content their audience is interested in.

Twitch's regular offering consists of both live and on-demand content. All channels are free to view, with three subscription tiers available ($4.99, $9.99 and $24.99 per month). There are more than 2.2 million unique broadcasters per month; 22,000 of those are part of Twitch's partners program and can take advantage of advertising revenue sharing and other monetization options.

Crunchyroll has free and premium ($6.95 and $11.95 a month) ad-free options for viewing. Worldwide viewers stream more than 1.5 billion minutes of anime per month. By Feb 2017, Crunchyroll's parent company Ellation said it has seen a 36% annual increase in paid accounts, for a total of one million subscribers coupled with more than 20 million registered users.

The marathon will be ad-supported, appointment viewing, with no VOD component. "Twitch is handling the linear playout from their platform and controls the active end user encodes," says Michael Dale, VP of engineering for Ellation. "We deliver high-quality files to Twitch and they are playing out the content as a live stream."

Community Interaction

Access to the Twitch Crunchyroll marathon will not require registration. "You do not need a Twitch account to view content on Twitch," says Twitch public relations director Chase. "You only need an account to use interactive features like chat." That chat feature is the biggest draw for many Twitch viewers.

The Twitch community is very vocal, and during video broadcasts registered users often have a non-stop interaction going via a chat window using emoji (which Twitch calls "emotes") and text. Messaging among viewers and between viewers and the broadcaster is often as engaging as watching the video game play. Twitch is releasing new, exclusive emotes for TwitchPresents subscribers based on some of the featured anime series.

A Perfect Match?

Is the Twitch viewer as passionate about anime as the Crunchyroll audience? That remains to be seen, but Twitch will surely gain a wealth of second-party data insights. Likely there will be deep analysis by this Amazon-owned media company as to what viewers are drawn to. Twitch's average viewing time is 106 minutes per day per user, so Twitch and Amazon already have tremendous insight into what drives their 10 million active daily viewers to stick around so long.

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