Crunchyroll is announcing its first major price increase since the anime streaming service launched in 2006.
Prices for its premium subscription will go up in the United States, Great Britain, Australia and the Nordics — in the U.S. and Australia, the monthly price will increase from $6.95 to $7.99 (or $79.99 per year), while British subscribers will see their bill go up from £4.99 to £6.50 (or £64.99 per year).
You don’t need to pay to watch Crunchyroll content, but a subscription gives you access to an ad-free experience, simulcasts shortly after a program airs in Japan and full access to the Crunchyroll library.
The company says it has 12 million active monthly users and 2 million paying subscribers.
As for why it’s raising prices after so many years, a spokesperson suggested this is a natural part of Crunchyroll’s evolution, as it has transformed from a site that depended on fans for (often-pirated) content to one that works with all the major Japanese licensors, and claims to hold more than 90 percent of the world’s anime content in its library.
“Crunchyroll has the world’s largest collection of anime and we are grateful to have focused on building out such a robust library for over the last decade, without a significant price change in our company history,” the spokesperson said. “However, due to rising costs of content and infrastructure, now is the time to introduce new subscription pricing. This price increase will help us bring our community more of their favorite shows, allowing us to create even more experiences for them to connect with each other and through shared passion for anime.”
Current monthly subscribers will be able to continue paying their current price for another three months, while annual subscribers will be “grandfathered” at their current price for another year.
This comes amidst broader corporate changes. Following AT&T’s acquisition of the company now called WarnerMedia, it also took full ownership of Otter Media. And WarnerMedia has clearly been rethinking the strategy behind its individual streaming sites as it plans to launch a more comprehensive service later this year.
Updated with a revised quote from Crunchyroll