Crunchyroll Announces New Membership Tiers With Offline Viewing, Multiple Concurrent Streams
posted on by Alex Mateo
Crunchyroll announced new membership tiers for its streaming service on Monday. The website will have four tiers in the United States (Free, Fan, Mega Fan, and Ultimate Fan), and effectively three tiers in other English-speaking territories (Free, Fan, and Mega Fan). The company will implement the new tiers worldwide in early September. The Crunchyroll Android and iOS apps will also receive updates on Monday. The company posted an introduction video (region-restricted to the United States) for the new tiers.
The Free tier will continue to require no payments, and it has advertisements. New simulcast episodes will be available one week after their premieres.
The following three tiers are options for premium members. The Fan tier costs US$7.99 (or a similar price outside the United States) per month. Similar to the current Premium Membership, this tier has no advertisements, and all new simulcast episodes will be available to users as they premiere.
The Mega Fan tier costs US$9.99/month, and it includes all features from the Fan tier. In addition, this tier enables offline viewing and access to four streams at once. In the United States, members will also be able to get a US$15 discount off a US$100 purchase every three months on the Crunchyroll Store.
In the United States, the Ultimate Fan tier costs US$14.99/month, and it will include everything from the Fan Tier. It will also feature offline viewing and access to six streams at once. Members can get a US$25 discount off a US$100 purchase every three months on the Crunchyroll Store. In addition, members will receive an annual Ultimate Fan member swag bag and access to exclusive member-only merchandise.
The membership tiers for the U.K. and English-speaking international territories are similar, but with prices converted to local currency. In these regions, the Mega Fan does not include a discount on the Crunchyroll Store. Also, instead of the Ultimate Fan tier, there is an Annual Mega Fan option for members who sign up for a full year of the Mega Fan Tier. This tier includes a 16% discount for Crunchyroll Premium.
Crunchyroll surpassed three million subscribers and 70 million registered users on July 28. The service had reached more than two million subscribers in October 2018 and more than one million subscribers in February 2017.
Crunchyroll launched in 2006 as a streaming service offering anime titles without authorization. The website secured US$4.05 million in its first-round funding from Venrock and began licensing titles for streaming in 2008.
The Chernin Group acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll in December 2013. The Chernin Group and AT&T formed the joint venture Otter Media in 2014, and Otter Media invested another US$22 million in Crunchyroll's parent company Ellation in November 2015. AT&T then announced in August 2018 that it acquired all of Otter Media.
Crunchyroll and Viz Media Europe closed the deal for Crunchyroll to become the majority owner of Viz Media Europe Group last December. The companies announced the agreement in September 2019. Viz Media Europe SAS (Société par Actions Simplifiées or simplified joint-stock company) announced in April that it changed its name to Crunchyroll SAS.
Entertainment news source Variety reported earlier this month that parent company AT&T has set an asking price of at least US$1 billion for its sale of Crunchyroll. According to the website, the company is pitching Crunchyroll to potential buyers aside from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Though AT&T reportedly offered Crunchyroll to Sony for US$1.5 billion, that figure is "much higher than the company is expecting to get" for the service, according to Variety's source.
Sources: Email correspondence, Crunchyroll