The move, reports Variety, aims to sell subscription bundles to younger viewers who no longer pay attention to traditional cable programming. It's also meant to take on both Amazon and Netflix, who have been licensing more anime content. AT&T will be teaming up with the Chernin Group and Ellation, owner of the Crunchyroll anime video subscription service, to launch the new service.
The plan for the new platform is to combine Crunchyroll with other channels from outside partners, and sell it either as a set bundle or through a kind of a la carte model that mirrors Amazon's recent video subscription efforts, according to multiple sources familiar with the plans.
Internally, the new platform has been known as "Project X," but trademark registrations from late last year, as well as more than a dozen domain name registrations, point to a "Vrv" branding. Sources told Variety that Ellation could announce the new platform under this branding as early as this month, with a launch being targeted for later this year.
Update: In a statement to Fast Company, an Ellation spokeswoman said that Variety article "has a lot of inaccuracies and is pure speculation." MG