Crunchyroll has announced on Friday that it is ending one of the primary perks of its free tier. In an update spotted by Anime News Network, the company said it no longer plans to offer ad-supported simulcast streaming of new series. Before free users could watch new shows shortly after their Japanese debut so long as they were willing to wait a week and watch commercials. Now by subscribing to one of Crunchyroll’s premium plan tiers, you can watch simulcasts one hour after their premiere in Japan, which is awesome.
Very soon, Crunchyroll will let free users partake in a “seasonal sampler” that will include a selection of simulcast content from the platform’s new spring lineup. That sampler will allow free users to watch the first three episodes of their favorite shows like Spy x Family, Dawn of the Witch, and Tomodachi Game just a week after their premeire until May 31st. To watch all new and continuing series entirely, you will have to subscribe to one of Crunchyroll’s premium tiers. These start at $8 per month. Then all currently available content will be available to watch for free.
“We want to encourage as many fans as possible to explore new shows and see the full benefits of Crunchyroll premium access,” the company said. “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 announcement comes after Sony’s $1.175 billion deal to buy the service in 2020, when it said it was adding more than 50 Funimation series to its back catalog, and that all future shows from Sony would debut on its service.
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