Anime Business Conference 2018-11-14T09:57:18+00:00


Anime NYC, Anime News Network, and Japan Society are proud to partner on the first “Anime Business Conference” in New York City. This inaugural summit will bring together professionals working in Japanese popular culture and professionals across broader marketing, licensing, publishing, and entertainment in New York to create new dialogues between Japanese and North American business. It will take place in New York’s historic Japan Society (333 E 47th St) on November 15, 2018, the day preceding New York City’s largest anime convention – Anime NYC.

Anime Business Conference participants will come from major companies including Aniplex, Crunchyroll, Funimation, GKIDS, HIDIVE, Kodansha, Sentai Filmworks, Vertical, VIZ Media, and Yen Press, and the Anime Business Conference will explore subjects relevant to the business and entertainment worlds at large, including:

  • The globalization of anime production, marketing, and consumption
  • Measuring success in an ever-changing entertainment landscape
  • Engaging with emerging and disruptive technologies
  • The next big thing in anime and manga

The Anime Business Conference will run from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM on Thursday, November 15 with a networking reception to follow. Tickets are $45 ($40 for Japan Society members, seniors, and students), and professionals working in either Japanese or North American marketing, licensing, publishing, and entertainment are encouraged to attend as well as anyone seeking to understand upcoming trends in Japanese pop culture. Tickets to the Anime Business Conference can be purchased now at

Anime NYC tickets are not required to attend the Anime Business Conference.



Kun Gao, founder of Crunchyroll, will headline the Anime Business Conference and deliver its keynote talk.

What Kun started twelve years ago as a video-sharing platform for anime has matured into a global brand boasting more than 45 million registered users and over two million subscribers.

Crunchyroll is the world’s largest destination for anime and manga, and fans connect through the most complete anime library including Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, and Dragon Ball Super, events such as Crunchyroll Expo and Anime Awards, and can purchase related merchandise through its online store.

Through its app on game consoles, set-top boxes, mobile devices and more, Crunchyroll delivers content from leading media producers directly to viewers translated professionally in multiple languages. The service is available for free or through a premium offering that allows users to watch ad-free with access to simulcasts – top series available immediately after Japanese broadcast.

Fans can also view Crunchyroll on VRV, an audience-focused aggregation platform featuring premium SVOD channels and a curated house channel.



Keynote – Keynote Address from Kun Gao

  • SPEAKER: Kun Gao (Founder, Crunchyroll)

Roundtable Discussion – “Shifting Trends in Consumption Habits”
In 15 years the internet has completely up-ended media consumption habits. Today’s teens, tomorrow’s adult consumers, have grown up in the a world where they have never not had instant online access to whatever content they want to consume. We’ll speak with media companies to find out how the market has changed, how they satisfy consumer demand today, and what they see on the horizon. Our panelists represent companies established in both the internet era and the physical media era.

  • SPEAKERS: Adam Sheehan (Director of Events, Crunchyroll), Kurt Hassler (Publisher & Managing Director, Yen Press)

Solo Talk – Presentation from Charlene Ingram

  • SPEAKER: Charlene Ingram (Anime Industry Veteran)

Roundtable Discussion – “Real-World Marketing (Conventions and IRL Events) for Media Companies”
How do media companies and digital media companies leverage real world events such as convention, screenings, and meet ups to better connect with their consumers? Our panelists have over four decades of combined experience operating and maneuvering IRL events to create stronger ties between media companies and consumers.

  • SPEAKERS: Adam Sheehan (Director of Events, Crunchyroll), Greg Topalian (CEO, Clarion UX and Leftfield Media), Ian Tingen (CEO, Power Level Productions)

Initial panelists listed here. Additional panelists to be added.


Japan Society, a 100+ year old institution dedicated to deepening mutual understanding between the U.S. and Japan in a global context, will host the event, presenting the Anime Business Conference on the same stage which has previously welcomed masters of traditional Japanese arts, theater, and literature as well as CEOs and thought leaders from Japan’s largest corporations. Japan Society and Anime NYC collaborated earlier this year on the U.S. Premiere of Shinsuke Sato’s BLEACH.

“A uniquely Japanese phenomenon, anime reaches out to people of all genders and generations, inspiring a love of Japan’s language and culture in people around the world. We’re very moved to present this forum about the future of Japanese pop culture at an organization which has showcased traditional Japanese culture for over a century.”

Tomomi Sekiya, Deputy Director of the Talks+ Program at Japan Society

The Anime Business Conference is co-curated by Anime News Network and Anime NYC. Anime News Network is the world’s largest English-language anime news website; it welcomes over 8 million visitors each month and is one of the most influential voices in Japanese pop culture news.

“Digital availability is bringing Japanese pop culture to more people than ever before, and the business has never been larger; more and more companies outside of anime and manga are starting to take note. The time is right for the Anime Business Conference – the first event of its kind in North America – which will bring together individuals and companies looking for insight into the future of Japanese popular culture, especially new brands looking to enter this world for the first time.”

Christopher Macdonald, Publisher of Anime News Network

Anime NYC – New York City’s largest anime convention – will draw over 30,000 passionate fans, publishers, and guests spanning America and Japan when it returns to the Javits Center on November 16-18.

“Anime NYC’s goal is to be a celebration for fans and a platform for professionals, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with our friends at Japan Society and Anime News Network to make a dedicated space for professional conversations. There is a unique opportunity here in New York for a professional forum focused on Japanese popular culture and open to all the marketing, licensing, publishing, and entertainment brands that call New York home.”

Peter Tatara, Event Director of Anime NYC

The Japanese pop culture business – spanning Japanese animation, comics, music, toys, and games – has never been larger in North America, and we look forward to the Anime Business Conference bringing together those inside Japanese pop culture and those wanting to learn about Japanese pop culture in new and important ways.