The new anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will go directly to Pluto TV and AVOD, skipping over other broadcast and digital platforms, content company Cinedigm said.
Pluto TV, part of ViacomCBS, will be setting up a special Yu-Gi-Oh branded anime channel that will be streaming VRAINS and hundreds of episodes from four of the five other Yu-Gi-Oh! series, first in the United States this month, followed by Latin America.
The exclusive deal covers multiple territories around the world and comes as over-the-top viewing grows, especially among young consumers.
The distribution strategy reflects Cinedigm’s “ability to pivot easily with marketplace changes and disruptions to meet viewers needs,” said Yolanda Macias, Cinedigm’s executive VP for acquisitions and digital sales.
Based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS features Playmaker, who must thwart a group of hackers aimed to destroy the cyber world. VRAINS stands for Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Network System.
The series was ranked No. 6 at the 2109 Tokyo Anime Award Festival.
“Yu-Gi-Oh!'s fandom is one of the most loyal and passionate in the world, and to be able to bring Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS to Pluto TV is both an incredible honor for us and a boon for viewers around the world, who can now stream this series for free,” said Amy Kuessner, senior VP of content strategy & global partnerships at Pluto TV. “We are excited to bring this single channel dedicated solely to Yu-Gi-Oh! and making it easier than ever for longtime and new fans alike to access this world.”
Pluto TV will be streaming a dubbed version of the series. Its version will feature all original music and effects scored for Western markets.
“We are pleased to partner with Pluto TV to release Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS and the dedicated Yu-Gi-Oh! channel that will enable fans to enjoy many of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series,” said Mark Kirk, senior VP of digital operations at Konami Cross Media NY, Inc., the production company that dubs Japanese anime content, including Yu-Gi-Oh!
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.