Crunchyroll ends its simulcast free streaming service – it used to be the most reliable source for streaming popular anime series without payment.
In an announcement on the website, Crunchyroll told users that its free streaming service, simulcast, will come to an end. This will be put in place starting with the ‘Spring 2022’ season anime releases. From then on, you will have to pay a monthly premium subscription which starts from $7.99.
Before now, users could watch simulcasts of anime a week after its Japanese debut for free if they were willing to deal with ads. However, Crunchyroll assures that this change will only affect new episodes coming out this Spring season. You can still watch previously published episodes for free.
As part of its plan to ease users into the new reality, the platform will offer the first three episodes of some titles for free in something called “seasonal sampler.” Likely, this will help users decide if a series is worth jumping on or not. Yet, it is important to note that this comes a week after it premieres for subscription-only users and includes ads. Also, it will end on the last day of May 2022.
“Crunchyroll makes more than 1,000 hours available for viewers to sample free of charge through our ad-supported tier, and will continue to offer free content going forward,” the company adds.
Free content here means old published episodes.
Reactions online tell you what you want to know: this Crunchyroll change is a big blow to users. And the reason for this change is not far-fetched. Sony bought the company in 2021, and since it owns Funimation, a rival anime streaming site, combining both libraries gives it more reason to believe that fans will remain faithful despite its premium-only access policy change.
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