Crunchyroll Prepares No-Dig Anime Streaming, What Fans Need to Know?

Crunchyroll just announced that they will be ending ad-supported free streaming of simulcast anime titles in favor of a subscription model.

While any anime fan can argue about what the industry’s “golden age” was, the entire community will agree that accessibility has never been better.

No matter who or where you are in the world, there are plenty of options for those of us who spend hours and hours watching the latest animated series.

However, that accessibility is about to take a massive hit as Crunchyroll reveals that their ad-supported free streaming of anime is about to end.

Crunchyroll is ending free anime streaming

Crunchyroll this week announced that the streaming platform will no longer offer free access to simulcast titles, as all new shows now require a paid subscription package.

GP at the Met: Fire Shut Up In My Bones | Official Preview | PBS

In lay terms; Users will no longer be able to watch Crunchyroll sim-cast anime titles for free that were previously available online one week after the premium release.

The removal of ad-supported free streaming of simulcast anime titles begins with the Spring List, ie from Friday April 1stSt2022, next week.

Crunchyroll stated, “To view new and ongoing simulcasts, a premium monthly or yearly subscription is required.”

“For ongoing series, ad-supported viewing of new episodes will not be available in line with Spring Season, but previously released episodes will continue to be available for all user types.” – Brett, via Crunchyroll Help.

Seasonal sampler model announced

While Crunchyroll will be removing ad-supported free streaming of simulcast anime titles, they are offering a special seasonal sampler model for the Spring List.

According to the original post, the first three episodes of the following shows will continue to be made available to stream for free – until April 31stSt.

  • Spy x family
  • A couple of cuckoos
  • Dawn of the Witch
  • Tomodachi game
  • Skeleton Knights in another world
  • Shikimori is not just a cutie
  • The greatest demon lord is reborn as a typical nobody
  • Trapped in a dating sim: the world of otome games is tough on mobs

“The first three episodes of these spring titles will air a week after their subscription-only premiere through May 31. be available free of charge and supported by advertising. After this date, all episodes in our seasonal sampler preview must be subscribed to.” – Brett, via Crunchyroll Help.

Will user subscription prices change?

The Crunchyroll staff blog post on the new free anime streaming model didn’t mention price changes for premium plans.

At the time of writing Crunchyroll still offers two different subscription packages with three payment options:

  • Fan Pack: $6.50 per month, stream on one device only
  • Mega Fan Pack: £7.99 per month, stream on four devices and view offline
  • Mega Fan Pack: £79.99 per year, same benefits with 15% off monthly option

However, fans should note that this does not mean that subscription prices will not be increased in the near future. By the end of April, the impact of the Crunchyroll-Funimation merger will be in full swing and the streaming platforms will be able to evaluate how many subscribers they’ve gained/lost.

If Crunchyroll decides that not enough Funimation subscribers have switched to their service, it would be a reasonable business assumption to increase the price of the premium subscription bundle.

“We want to encourage as many fans as possible to explore new shows and see the full benefits of Crunchyroll Premium Access. Crunchyroll is making over 1,000 hours of free viewing available to viewers through our ad-supported tier and will continue to offer free content in the future.” – Brett, via Crunchyroll Help.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

In other news: What does the barrel mean in Netflix’s Bridgerton series? Crunchyroll Prepares No-Dig Anime Streaming, What Fans Need to Know?

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