Exclusive: Crunchyroll COO Talks About The Streaming Giant’s Expansion Into Indian Market

Crunchyroll took huge steps to expand its services in India this July. Not only did they slash their subscription rates to make it more affordable and enticing, they also took efforts to provide anime content in localized versions, which includes rolling out Hindi Dubs for My Dress Up Darling and Ranking of Kings anime among others.

It’s only going to better for anime fans in India as Crunchyroll has promised to license more of its library in the country.

In light of these developments, Animehunch reached out to Crunchyroll’s Chief Operating Officer Brady McCollum to learn more about the streaming giant’s expansion into the Indian market and the reasons behind it.

Crunchyroll COO Brady McCollum

1. Will the entire library of anime at Crunchyroll’s disposal be made available to Indian audiences?

We hope fans in India are now enjoying the Hindi dubs we’ve released for My Dress Up Darling and Ranking of Kings alongside our ever-growing catalog available in the market including Naruto Shippuden and Boruto currently with English subtitles.

Fans can expect us to share more content news soon as we’re working closely with our Japanese partners to expand our anime offering and additional languages in India.

2. Since Hindi dubs have been announced for certain anime, can the Indian audience expect dubs in other regional languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam etc) too?

According to India’s latest Census, Hindi is the most spoken language in the country, hence we considered that Hindi dubs would be a good place to start. The response so far has been great. However, we definitely want to hear more about what fans in India are looking for so we can keep super-serving them.

3. What made Crunchyroll reduce the subscription costs in India and 100 such territories? Is it a viable option for Crunchyroll, financially?

Our mission is to help everyone belong to the anime community and making anime more accessible is part of us reaching that goal. We assessed prices for Crunchyroll globally and we were excited to roll out this price decrease to supported territories simultaneously to provide more value to fans and to keep our offering competitive in each benefiting region, which includes India!

On top of the price decrease in the region, we also started offering our subscriptions in rupees as well as other new local currencies in other territories. 

4. Why is Crunchyroll trying to expand into the Indian market now? Were there any favorable signs for the same?

Anime fans in India are some of the most vocal and we know there is a huge community of fans who are ready and excited to dive deep into the Crunchyroll library.

In addition to the fans in India who have been enjoying Crunchyroll through ad-supported viewing, we have been receiving messages from fans asking Crunchyroll to expand its offer in India and now we are excited to welcome waves of new Indian fans of anime everyday within our service.

5. Does this move come on the back of extensive research on the Indian Anime Market? Is Crunchyroll planning to target a particular demography of Indian audience?

For all markets, we do very thorough research and analysis. India was no different. Additionally, we listen to our fans and Indian fans have always been vocal about wanting a convenient and accessible way to enjoy their favorite anime series. We are also looking to hire our first senior employees to be based in the country to keep helping us understand and provide more to our Indian community.

It is also worth mentioning we are privileged to be part of the Sony family and also count on the support and insights from Sony India, who already has a long tradition and experience in the territory.

6. How will Crunchyroll handle the censoring when it comes to Anime which has mature content and Anime like Record Of Ragnarok, which might antagonize certain sections of the populace?

Anime offers content for all audiences — action, comedy, drama, etc. — and we are working to keep expanding our catalog in India to ensure all fans will find series that will resonate with them.

7. Now since Crunchyroll has entered the Anime streaming business in India, will Crunchyroll and in extension Sony, be more proactive in releasing Anime movies as well?

Yes! A great example of this is the release of Dragon Ball Super: SUPER HERO in Hindi across Indian theatres, which we are releasing in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment India. The film premiered on August 26 across 500 theatres.

8. Will Crunchyroll be partnering with other Anime streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Muse Asia, Ani One, etc in India? Or will it see them as competition?

Crunchyroll doesn’t want to be something for everyone, we want to be everything to someone. Fans can expect us to continue to build our library in the region and become the destination for all things anime in India while we explore ways to expand our full anime offering, which includes theatrical, Crunchyroll Games, manga, events, merchandising and more. 

We’re excited about the growing interest and fandom in anime in India and see it as an opportunity for both fans and businesses to benefit. 

Brady McCollum serves as Chief Operating Officer at Crunchyroll. He is in charge on steering Crunchyroll’s domestic and international operations including the exploration of opportunities in developing global markets, content operations, localization, and curation and programming.

McCollum also oversees Crunchyroll’s IT, Enterprise Systems, and Information Security organizations.

McCollum joined Crunchyroll in 2008 and has held various leadership positions since the inception of the platform through the acquisition by Sony Pictures Entertainment. He also led the brand’s international expansion into dozens of new markets and Crunchyroll’s commerce rollout, among other key initiatives.

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