For the first time in its history, Crunchyroll will raise its subscription price.
An email was sent to all Crunchyroll subscribers revealing that the service would raise its rates from $6.95 to $7.99 per month. This change will affect new subscribers starting on May 1, while the price for existing members will increase three months later. Those who pre-paid for a year will see no change in pricing until their period is up.
In a statement to Variety, a Crunchyroll spokesperson explained the change, saying, "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. 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," the spokesperson continued, "allowing us to create even more experiences for them to connect with each other and through shared passion for anime."
Anime streaming service Crunchyroll has remained one of the most popular anime streaming services around. It offers fans a large catalog of anime available for streaming. However, the company has seen some upheaval in the recent months. Following a controversial split from anime dubbing company and streaming service Funimation, Crunchyroll announced a partnership with Adult Swim in order to share premier anime content for its popular Saturday anime block, Toonami.
It seems logical that Crunchyroll would need to offer better deals to secure modern anime. With rival anime streaming services like Hulu (now teamed up with Funimation), Netflix and Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll will need to offer companies in Japan more fiscal incentive so as to purchase the streaming rights to more anime.
Crunchyroll is run by AT&T's online video subscription business, Ellation. Ellation also oversees Rooster Teeth and VRV. VRV is conglomerate of different streaming services, which provides access to both Crunchyroll and Rooster Teeth streaming, as well as anime streaming service HIDIVE, Geeks and Sundry, CuriosityStream, Shudder, Boomerang and NickSplat. VRV's subscription service will remain at $9.99 per month.