Crunchyroll is doing away with free simulcasts starting with the spring season

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,534   +1,061
Staff member
Why it matters: Nobody likes ads, but if it's a choice between giving yet another TV service your credit card or watching ads because the provider only has one show you enjoy, most likely, you'll tolerate the ads. That is, as long as the service continues offering an ad-supported option.

On Friday, anime streamer Crunchyroll announced it was removing simulcast content from its ad-supported tier. To continue watching new episodes of a series, viewers must lay down at least $8 per month or more for one of Crunchyroll's premium tiers.

Previously, the free tier had ads, and episodes were on a one-week delay compared to premium subscriptions, which gets them an hour after the episode debuts in Japan. It was a fair compromise for getting to watch shows that would otherwise not make it to Western countries.

Under Crunchyroll's restructuring, customers watching for free will have access to a "season sampler." Viewers can watch the first three episodes of select shows for free with ads and with the same one-week delay. If they want to continue watching the entire season, they must subscribe.

Also, there is no guarantee that your favorite series will be in the sampler. The first sampler debuts this spring, featuring eight shows.

  • Spy x Family
  • A Couple of Cuckoos
  • Dawn of the Witch
  • Tomodachi Game
  • Skeleton Knight in Another World
  • Shikimori's 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 for Mobs

Viewers also only have until May 31 to watch the first three episodes of the shows in the sampler. After that, users require a subscription for any content except for episodes already aired before the change. It also did not state when or if new content would roll into the ad-based tier.

It's worth mentioning that Sony acquired Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion last summer. As you may be aware, the company is also currently preparing to restructure PlayStation Plus. Under the new three-tier subscription service, users will have to start paying month-to-month instead of having a discounted annual subscription rate. That plan could kick into effect as early as this week.

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Posts: 3,436   +5,745
Oh no....

Guess I'll have to keep watching the japanese broadcast with fan dubs that are higher quality then crunchyroll's efforts. The horror!


Posts: 1,133   +827
I try to watch nothing with adverts - yes my rugby games - have ad break at half time - but generally making myself a drink then with mute on - yes there are static adverts in the game -impose on field or hoardings - but that's ok .
So CR with adverts was a non-starter for me


Posts: 3,436   +5,745
Oh nooooooo I can't watch anime for free! /s Seriously, its $8 a month, stop crying.
Why are you so upset guys, a multi billion dollar corporation is taking away a free service and making you pay for it! Just pay, why do you have to be so stingy?


Posts: 5,644   +4,608
TechSpot Elite
Why are you so upset guys, a multi billion dollar corporation is taking away a free service and making you pay for it! Just pay, why do you have to be so stingy?
IF they use the money to improve their selection of titles then I can understand why they would be doing this. A rework of the website will also launch soon.

Let's wait and see if they really do get more titles in future seasons. Sony should be able to get better deals.

It doesn't affect me since I do pay for the sub, but I can definitely understand why some are upset. At the same time, I really hope I'll get more for the money I pay. They need to make it worth it to sub and people will naturally sub.