What is the process of getting an anime for example onto CrunchyRoll? Let's say a new original anime airs in Japan and a lot of the viewers on the west want to watch it too. What reasons does a streaming site consider before acquiring licenses to stream anime? How does a streaming site know what results to expect from streaming each title?

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    This is a lot of questions - I'd be happy to answer a few of them if broken up into individual questions. Best, Miles - CR Staff
    – user25537
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 17:22
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  • I think answers to those questions would be one of the trade secrets of Cruncyroll / Funimation. Because knowing what show will be popular enough to bring in enough paying viewers to cover the costs of licensing and translating plus some more is critical to their success. (but considering 90% of shows get streamed I would guess they just grab everything).
    – Euphoric
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 6:56

1 Answer 1


Without going into specifics, the process is the same for anime as for any other product in the world:

  1. Is there an interest in the product? This can be measured in many different ways in case of streaming sites: polls, data analysis (who watched what, what do forums/discussion boards say), etc.

  2. If yes, can a profit be made? (in terms of new subscribes, income from ads, etc)

  3. If yes, is the product legal in the country you wish to sell it in? (If not, can it be made legal? Think pixelating private parts, etc)

  4. If yes, can a license be obtained? (eg. are there no import/export restrictions)

The answers to all these questions, and a few others (technical feasibility for example - what if a series is only made in 4K and the distributor insist on not downscaling?) will enable a streaming site to make a proper business decision and either move forward with actually acquiring the license, or drop/shelve the matter.

A more comprehensive list of considerations, not specifically geared toward streaming sites but business in general, can be found on Entrepeneur, which is the most comprehensive overview of considerations going into a business decision. Streaming sites, as a business, will ask those questions most suited to their respective fields (anime, series, movies, music, etc).

  • This sounds like a list of educated guesses. Do you have any sources to back up that these are the parameters the actual streaming sites evaluate?
    – Hakase
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 7:01
  • These are part of industry standards and less guesses than common business sense. More detailed questions a business can (depending on what it is they are aiming to sell) be found on entrepreneur.com/article/78778, for example. I will add this to the answer.
    – RJ T
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 10:48
  • Again, what are your reasons to think that this is what the streaming sites actually base their research on? Aside from it being common sense in most businesses. Ideally I'd like to see an answer from one of the employees of reputable streaming sites. For all I know their goal might be to make the brand of certain titles more recognizable in the west, and the streaming business portion is actually a net loss, funded by the japanese publisher. This is why I'm asking for proof and references.
    – Hakase
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 11:56

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