Crunchyroll raises monthly subscription cost for the first time since it launched in 2006

Crunchyroll, a leading anime subscription service, is raising its monthly subscription cost to $ 7.99, versus $ 6.95. The price increase is the first time that Crunchyroll has raised the price of its most purchased basic plan since the service was first launched in 2006. The changes will become effective for new users on May 1, 2019. The news was first published in TechCrunch has been confirmed by an email that Crunchyroll has sent to subscribers.

"Crunchyroll has the largest anime collection in the world and we are grateful to have focused on creating such a solid library in the last decade, without a price change in our company's history," said a spokesperson. TechCrunch . "However, due to the increase in content and infrastructure costs, now is the time to introduce new subscription prices." According to the company, it now offers more than 90 percent of all anime content officially licensed in the world, thanks to years of work associated with studies in Japan and elsewhere to ensure adequate rights.

Before Crunchyroll, and the rise of American distributors like Funimation and Viz Media, owned by Sony, Western anime fans had to rely on expensive imports, piracy or the dubbed versions of the popular licensed programs from companies such as Williams Street Productions, the WarnerMedia division responsible for Cartoon Network content blocks such as Toonami and Adult Swim. In fact, WarnerMedia, now owned by AT & T after its merger with Time Warner, also owns Crunchyroll. (The site was acquired by the company that would become the parent company of Crunchyroll, Otter Media, which AT & T picked up last August after the announcement of the merger).

Everything that M & A business means means that AT & T now has a pretty formidable young and formidable adult content. under the arm of Warner Bros. And the division will certainly need the resources of AT & T now that Amazon, Netflix and Hulu are building robust anime libraries to attract younger viewers. Netflix has been spending a fortune on the licensing of popular animated shows and the direct production of new hits like Aggretsuko Castlevania and the remake of Devilman Crybaby .

Amazon, meanwhile, tried to launch its own subscription service called Anime Strike, but it closed after a year and Amazon migrated its content library to Prime Video. Hulu has been building his library with a lot of classics and fan favorites, and most recently he got the exclusive in the United States in the second season of One Punch Man beating Crunchyroll, Funimation and others.

Given the competition, it makes sense for Crunchyroll to want to cover additional license fees, exclusivity offers and other costs as the anime broadcast battle heats up. For current subscribers, the $ 6.95 fee will remain in effect for three months after the price change, so until August 1, 2019, the company says. After that, the price will rise to $ 7.99 for everyone. For annual members, Crunchyroll says they can keep their current rate for another full year after the renewal date.

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