Julia Renda (pictured left) and Mary Franklin (pictured right) join anime-focused SVOD Crunchyroll as its new head of marketing and head of events, respectively.
Renda will oversee marketing and brand strategy, partnerships, audience development and customer acquisition and retention for the San Francisco-based platform, which is owned by WarnerMedia’s digital content investment venture Otter Media. She was most recently head of marketing for Yahoo’s lifestyle applications, where she managed the Polyvore brand. Prior to Yahoo, she led content and social media strategy at promotions agency Site Systems.
Franklin, meanwhile, will be tasked with growing Crunchyroll’s events strategy across more than 20 domestic affairs and the SVOD’s yearly fan convention Crunchyroll Expo in San Jose, California.
Franklin joins Crunchyroll after serving as global event director at fan-centric company ReedPOP, the company behind the global Comic Con brand. During her four-year stint, she oversaw teams outside North America, including in Shanghai, Paris and Seoul. She previously spent 14 years at Lucasfilm as its head of events and fan relations and produced Star Wars fan conventions including five Celebrations and Celebration Europe and Japan.
To date, Crunchyroll has more than 45 million registered users, two million subscribers and has expanded its business via games, events, social media, news and e-commerce.
The moves come as the global anime market is experiencing rapid growth, especially for streamers. According to the 2019 Global Animation, VFX & Game Market report by Market Research Place, the streaming market for animated content was valued at US$2.9 billion in 2018 and is growing at an annual rate of 8%. Netflix, for its part, is continuing to expand its anime offerings with a number of new projects on the way including an animated version of its live-action sci-fi series Altered Carbon, an anime series based on video game Dragon’s Dogma, as well as original anime series Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 and a Pacific Rim anime spinoff.