Crunchyroll will no longer offer free ad-supported streaming for newly released episodes, the anime streaming service announced in an update on his website (above gizmodo). Viewers who want to watch episodes of new or continuing series will need to upgrade to one of Crunchyroll’s premium plans, which start at $7.99/month.
Users didn’t need a subscription to watch simulcast titles before the change, but there was a trade-off — Crunchyroll would delay the release of new episodes by a week for free users, while subscribers could watch them an hour after they premiered in Japan. This was something I (and many other people who use Crunchyroll for free) were happy to deal with as long as I could actually watch the new episodes.
But now Crunchyroll bans free users from watching delayed simulcasts altogether. The service’s policy is set to go into effect this spring, as Crunchyroll plans to give users access to a “seasonal sampler,” or selection of simulcasts scheduled to debut throughout the spring 2022 season, inclusive Spy x family, A couple of cuckoos, Tomodachi game, and other. Crunchyroll is offering the first three episodes of each show in the sampler one week after its premiere for free until May 31st. Subscription required to watch beyond the first few episodes or access Crunchyroll’s entire simulcast lineup. According to Crunchyroll, all users will still be able to watch episodes previously added to the platform for free.
It’s unclear if Crunchyroll will continue to offer seasonal samplers beyond Spring 2022, or when episodes from this season’s lineup will be available for free in the future. The edge reached out to Crunchyroll for comment, but didn’t immediately get a response.
Sony, which also owns Funimation, acquired Crunchyroll last year in a $1.175 billion deal, but the service has only recently started making major changes. earlier this month, Crunchyroll has announced that it will acquire Funimation’s anime library in an effort to gradually merge both services. Though Crunchyroll says it will “continue to offer free content in the future,” the scrapping of free delayed simulcasts comes as a minor blow to fans who’ve been using the service for free for years, and also raises questions about whether Crunchyroll will decide Block other content behind a subscription.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/27/22998591/crunchyroll-ends-free-ad-supported-streaming-new-releases-simulcasts-anime Crunchyroll is ending free streaming for new and ongoing series