Netflix jumps on the virtual streamer bandwagon with N-ko, its new sheep-human anime ambassador.
Netflix this week launched its own virtual streamer, aka Vtuber, in an effort to promote its growing catalog of original anime series. Referred to as N-ko Mei Kurono, this “sheep-human lifeform” will serve as the companies official “anime ambassador,” working to help spread the word about Netflix Anime content while, simultaneously, interacting with the rapidly-expanding Vtuber community.
What’s a Vtuber you ask? Put simply, Vtubers—or virtual streamers—are online entertainers who mask their real-world identities using custom digital avatars, usually adopting a fake persona in the process. Think of them as modern-day puppeteers, only instead of performing on the sidewalk for a tiny audience, they’re interacting with thousands of fans from around the world in real-time. Motion capture technology has become so accessible, in fact, that you can easily create your own character using a variety of free software.
N-ko will be kicking off her Vtuber career with her own weekly show on Netflix Anime’s official YouTube channel. As for what type of content this digital personality will provide, it sounds as though the skies the limit.
According to N-ko, she’ll be promoting new anime series streaming on Netflix, interacting with fans as well as the Vtuber community, playing video games, and even singing from time to time.
“I love singing, dancing, and getting a massage,” says N-ko, “but I don’t like writing kanji or anything that contains elements of horror.”
When you consider the substantial investment Netflix has made to its anime catalog, it comes as no surprise that the company is looking to take advantage of the growing popularity of virtual entertainers to further corner the market. As pointed out by The Verge, Netflix plans on launching over 40 anime series this year, including a new Sailor Moon movie and Terminator series.
It’s been interesting to see the impact Vtuber culture has had on major brands. We’ve already seen several major companies team up with virtual entertainers to promote a variety of products and services, such as Chinese Elle’s “hetero-dimensional” virtual idols.
As the popularity of digital personalities continues to grow, expect to see other major companies jumping on the virtual streamer bandwagon with their own branded characters.
Could Hulu-chan be next? Or perhaps Amazon-san?
Feature Image Credit: Netflix Anime