Webtoon Teaming With Crunchyroll for New Animated Content

Crunchyroll-Webtoon partnership - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Crunchyroll and Webtoon
The two companies will work together to develop, produce and distribute new shows based on Webtoon's catalog of properties.

Crunchyroll, the WarnerMedia subsidiary focused on publishing and distribution of anime and manga, has teamed with webcomic giant Webtoon for a new partnership that will see the two companies develop and produce new animated content based on Webtoon’s catalog of properties.

Under the deal, both Crunchyroll and Webtoon will collaborate on the development and co-production of the animated material, with the two companies working together to distribute and license the shows upon completion.

Averaging more than 55 million monthly active users — and with a daily readership upward of 15 million — Webtoon has become the top webcomics app for both Android and iOS devices, with thousands of series updated on a regular basis in genres including sci-fi, fantasy and romance comics. The company has previously partnered with Legendary, Top Cow/Image Comics and Lucasfilm since its 2014 U.S. debut. (It originated in Korea in 2004.)

Crunchyroll, meanwhile, boasts 50 million users and 2 million subscribers, and has built a dedicated fan base both through an anime catalog that includes Attack on Titan, Naruto Shippuden and Dragon Ball Super, but also ancillary ventures including Crunchyroll Games and the annual California event, Crunchyroll Expo. Last year, the company announced its intention to create all-new content.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with Webtoon,” said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll, in a statement. “Webtoon has a tremendous catalogue of content and creators that resonate deeply with our audience and we can’t think of a better way to delight fans than by bringing these stories to life through animation.” 

“There is tremendous crossover appeal with our audiences, and exceptional creative synergy on the types of stories we want to tell,” added Taylor Grant, senior vp IP development at Webtoon. “We’re excited to partner with Crunchyroll to bring our globally appealing characters to audiences and consumers in new ways, as well as create new opportunities for our talented creators.”

Details about the initial series under discussion as part of the deal are expected to be released soon.