In this interview with incoming COO of Crunchyroll, Colin Decker, he talks about the essence of the streaming sites success: community. We also discuss how Crunchyroll is holding subscriber attention for 40 minutes a day.
I started out by asking Mr. Decker why he joined Crunchyroll. With 750,000 subscribers, the service is already very successful. He said the folks at Crunchyroll figured out how to build a service around a strong community.
Mr. Decker says that anyone can come to Crunchyroll and watch shows for free, ad-supported. If a user wants to watch ad-free, they will need to subscribe. This brings with it a lot more content, and access to simulcast episodes. These are shows that are released through the service on the same day and at the same time the episode is first broadcast in Japan. This, Mr. Decker says, getting access simulcast content is a big reason people subscribe.
The content library is very large. There are over 750 shows with 20,000 episodes available providing 7000 hours of content.
Mr. Decker says that anime fans have been meeting up and watching together since the days of the VHS tape. Simulcast content really heightens the desire to watch together. One thing the company is looking at is how to support that behavior by providing virtual rooms to watch together.
The company has seen a lot of expansion overseas, though 80% of subscribers still reside in the US. However, it is the groundswell from the community that continues to be engine driving growth.
Usage is very high with a lot of binge viewing. The amount of time paying subscribers spend with the service continues to grow. On average, users are spending an eye-popping 40 minutes a day watching. That’s almost twice as much as in 2011.
Overall usage is roughly divided equally between web, mobile and living room devices. The living room drives the longest engagement, with almost 50% more time spent per user. However, Mr. Decker says that mobile is growing very fast.
Crunchyroll does virtually live delivery already, with the simulcasts. However, they do a live fan show using Facebook Live, called Crunchycast. This helps build the community aspect of the service even more. Mr. Decker is very proud of the fact that the number one comment they get during Crunchycast is
“I love Crunchyroll.” And that passion is something Crunchyroll will continue to build on.