How Anime Became A Universal Medium

John Leonhardt, head of consumer products, Crunchyroll, explains anime’s meteoric rise in pop culture at the Festival of Licensing.

License Global

October 15, 2020

2 Min Read
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Anime has become a transcendent medium over the past many years. The popularity of IP, such as "Dragon Ball Z" and "Naruto" has expanded globally to reach demographics across the broad. A major motivator for that success has come from new streaming and digital media opportunities – an area that Crunchyroll is at the forefront of globally.

Crunchyroll is an anime streaming leader that just recently surpassed three million subscribers. The company's immense success points to the appeal of anime and showcases how an industry that was once considered a niche has grown rapidly. John Leonhardt, head of consumer products, Crunchyroll, is ready to shed light on the mass demand for anime and detail how IP in the category is finding fans worldwide.

Crunchyroll will appear at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

License Global recently got a sneak peek at Leonhardt's panel, "Anime 101: Breaking Down the Hottest Pop Culture Medium." During his engaging discussion, the Crunchyroll executive detailed how anime can reach across borders and already has fans from various demographics.

"It's sort of a universal medium," says Leonhardt during the pre-recorded panel. "It's dubbed in all sorts of languages – it's subtitled or dubbed [so] it's built for global consumption, because of the fanbase and the need for it."

The dub and subtitle options available for anime means that many top titles have already hit the global stage. Classics such as "Pokémon" has already found massive success in the gaming and broadcast TV spaces. Leonhardt reports that the international appeal of those classic titles shed light on how people who grew up with anime might be fans and not even know it.

"A lot of people are anime fans and they don't even know it," adds Leonhardt during his keynote. "If you like 'Dragon Ball Z.' If you appreciate 'Pokémon,' your kind of in the anime swim lane already."

Learn More

Find out more insights from the "Anime 101: Breaking Down the Hottest Pop Culture Medium" keynote by adding it to your Festival of Licensing schedule now. The keynote will debut on Wednesday at 9:00AM PT.

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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