Crunchyroll Ends Its Download-to-Own Service

posted on 2010-03-10 23:34 EST by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Company intends to dedicate more resources to streaming content

The Crunchyroll media-distribution website has announced that it will discontinue its download-to-own service on March 31. Users' existing downloads must be downloaded and saved by May 1.

Crunchyroll's download-to-own videos are free of digital rights management (DRM). Only some of Crunchyroll's titles, such as Angelic Layer, Blassreiter, and Saiyuki, are still available through the download-to-own option. Most of these episodes are offered at US$1.99 per episode, but some also operate on a donation system, with extras added on for donations of US$2 or more.

Kun Gao, Chief Executive Officer of Crunchyroll, told ANN in a statement that Crunchyroll's "core business and the future for anime is simulcast." He also stated that Crunchyroll is dedicating more resources to "increasing the number of ways [users] can stream content" from Crunchyroll. Gao explained that Crunchyroll has 10 times more users on its recently released iPhone and iPod Touch streaming application than download-to-own users.

Gao's full statement can be read below:

To date, thousands of enthusiastic users have embraced Crunchyroll's DRM-free download-to-own product. However, our core business and the future for anime is simulcast. We aim to bring all of Japan's anime to the world at the same time its Japanese broadcast.

Crunchyroll already streams over 50% of on-air anime within 1 hour of Japan TV broadcast today, and we want to focus and bring the best possible experience and the most content possible, so that we can obtain 100% of on-air anime soon.

We are dedicating more resources to provide the best experience for Anime fans, and are increasing the number of ways they can stream content from our site.

Recently, we launched our Crunchyroll iPhone Application. Although still in its Alpha state, anime viewers can now stream hit titles such as Naruto Shippuden on their iPhone or iPod touch directly from Crunchyroll. So far this application has been a huge success. We already have ten times more Crunchyroll iPhone App than DTO users.

I want to thank all the fans who have supported Crunchyroll. As the number one online destination for anime, we look forward to continuing to be the most innovative and to provide the best anime experience to all fans.

If any fans have questions regarding their DTO, please don't hesitate to contact our support line at support (at

[Via UK Anime, Anime Vice]

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