Anime streaming service Crunchyroll has introduced new membership tiers.
Updates to the Crunchyroll Android and iOS applications began rolling out Aug. 24 offering access to the new benefits. Not all users will have access right away, but the updated application should be fully available to global fans in early September.
The new tiers are:
“Free,” with ad-supported streaming access and new episodes available one week after premiere;
“Fan,” at $7.99 per month and including ad-free viewing, full access to Crunchyroll’s anime library of more than 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes alongside immediate access to simulcast series day and date with their premiere in Japan, access to Crunchyroll’s library of digital manga, and access to one stream;
“Mega Fan,” available for $9.99 per month and including ad-free viewing, full access to Crunchyroll’s anime library alongside immediate access to simulcast series day and date with premiere in Japan, access to Crunchyroll’s library of digital manga, offline viewing, access to four concurrent streams, and $15 off a purchase of $100 every three months at the Crunchyroll Store; and
“Ultimate Fan,” at $14.99 per month and including ad-free viewing, full access to Crunchyroll’s anime library alongside immediate access to simulcast series day and date with premiere in Japan, access to Crunchyroll’s library of digital manga, offline viewing, access to six concurrent streams, $25 off a purchase of $100 every three months at the Crunchyroll Store, an annual Ultimate Fan member swag bag, and exclusive access to the purchase of Ultimate Fan merchandise.
In addition to a large collection of anime, Crunchyroll connects the anime community through Crunchyroll News, shopping exclusives on the Crunchyroll Store, a variety of mobile games, and live and virtual events such as the upcoming Virtual Crunchyroll Expo.
Anime streaming service Crunchyroll has crossed 3 million paid subscribers globally and more than 70 million registered users, according to the service.
With more than 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes, Crunchyroll is available in more than 200 countries and territories with select series simulcast in eight languages day and date with the premiere in Japan, according to the service.
“Crunchyroll’s global growth has been incredible,” Joanne Waage, GM of Crunchyroll, said in a statement. “We launched in 2006 and it took us about 10 years to hit 1 million subscribers. It took us only two years after that to break 2 million, and even less than that to hit 3 million subscribers where we are today. But we don’t just measure success based on paying subscribers. We have an active and growing AVOD community of more 70 million registered users. Our goal has always been to grow the love of anime globally, and these numbers show our labor of love is paying off — and this is just the beginning.”
Crunchyroll is part of Otter Media, a WarnerMedia company, that manages and invests in a portfolio of digital-first media brands. Late last year, Crunchyroll closed the majority acquisition of VIZ Media Europe Group, expanding its suite of consumer brands to include streaming services Anime Digital Network (in partnership with Citel, a subsidiary of Média-Participations) and Anime on Demand, DVD and manga publisher KAZÉ, and live action content distributor Eye See Movies.
Earlier this year, Crunchyroll announced its inaugural slate of Crunchyroll Originals, with 12 total series announced thus far. The first two originals were “Tower of God,” a Crunchyroll and Webtoon Production, and “The God of High School.”
Crunchyroll has launched more than 20 Crunchyroll Loves collections, the brand’s in-house streetwear line, featuring rapper, songwriter and singer Megan Thee Stallion; the iconic franchise Godzilla; and horror manga artist Junji Ito; as well as series “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” and “DARLING in the FRANXX” among other franchises.
Crunchyroll has helped launch seven games to date, reaching more than a combined 500,000 monthly players, with more to come before the end of the year. The most recent game, “Mass for the Dead,” which was released at the end of April, is based on the anime series “Overlord.”
Earlier this year, Crunchyroll and HBO Max teamed up to bring fans more anime. Crunchyroll currently curates the Crunchyroll hub on HBO Max, bringing select fan-favorite titles to the platform each quarter. Crunchyroll has also announced several linear TV partnerships, including curating anime for the Toonami block on Adult Swim and for a special anime block for TNT Comedy in Germany. Crunchyroll EMEA also distributed the popular sports series “Captain Tsubasa” across eight countries on more than 40 linear TV channels.
Crunchyroll currently manages merchandising rights for more than 350 anime titles, working with more than 100 global licensees to provide anime fans with lifestyle, fashion, and home goods products from their favorite series.
In 2019, Crunchyroll participated in more than 190 events across 18 countries, reaching more than 22 million fans. This year, Crunchyroll has participated in 21 virtual events across Crunchyroll, Anime Digital Network, Anime on Demand, and KAZÉ. Crunchyroll also hosts the Anime Awards, the brand’s yearly celebration of the best in anime, reaching more than 11 million votes this year (up from 5 million the year before), with more than half coming from international fans. Crunchyroll also hosts an annual anime convention, Crunchyroll Expo, and will introduce a Virtual Crunchyroll Expo this labor day weekend.
Crunchyroll serves the global anime community, managing more than 350 social channels that cater to more than 40 million anime fans. This also includes the publication of Crunchyroll News, the owned and operated editorial arm of Crunchyroll read by more than 2.5 million fans per month.
“Crunchyroll is a pioneer in the direct-to-consumer space, who for the last 14 years, has shown the industry first-hand what it takes to build a successful DTC business with a die-hard, passionate fan base supporting it,” Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, said in a statement. “I am so proud of the entire Crunchyroll team for this incredible accomplishment and for their continued focus on harnessing the global anime community through authentic storytelling. It’s what makes Crunchyroll so much more than a DTC — it’s the preeminent Anime brand globally.”
Crunchyroll is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Lausanne, Chisinau and Berlin (AV Visionen).
Crunchyroll, the anime-centric producer/distributor owned by WarnerMedia, continues to aggressively re-assert its brand globally, naming Julian Lai-Hung as the head of content strategy & business development focused on Japan and Asia-Pacific markets.
AT&T and The Chernin Group in 2014 formed over-the-top video conglomerate Otter Media, which became majority owner of 8-year-old Crunchyroll. AT&T melded the anime company to WarnerMedia after acquiring Time Warner.
Based in Tokyo, Lai-Hung will focus on building out Crunchyroll’s content strategy, driving the originals initiative and identifying new business opportunities with existing and new partners.
Lai-Hung cut his teeth working for Netflix where he helped the SVOD pioneer launch the service in Japan and oversaw the global anime category as director of content and anime in the region, and at Warner Bros., where he led a team as the VP of international digital distribution and global sales.
While at Netflix, Lai-Hung was executive producer across a number of titles, including “Terrace House Aloha State,” “Million Yen Women,” “Godzilla: Monster Planet,” “Kuromukuro” and “Blazing Transfer Students.”
In addition to Lai-Hung, recent Crunchyroll appointments include Alden Budill as head of global partnerships and content strategy; Terry Li as head of 360 and GM of Crunchyroll Games, and John Easum as the head of Crunchyroll EMEA following the acquisition of VIZ Media Europe Group.
“Given Julian’s deep expertise and passion for the medium, he’s the perfect addition to our team to progress our efforts to identify new partnerships and creative opportunities,” Budill said in a statement.
WarnerMedia’s pending SVOD platform HBO Max and sister company Crunchyroll, are teaming up to bring dubbed and subtitled anime on the platform when it launches on May 27.
Max subscribers will have access to 17 anime titles, including Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Re: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-(Director’s Cut), and Keep Your Hands off Eizouken alongside the Crunchyroll Original series In/Spectre. Additionally, Max subs have access to Crunchyroll’s catalog of 1000+ titles, including Rurouni Kenshin, KONOSUBA -God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!, Bungo Stray Dogs, Berserk, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Kill la Kill, Your Lie in April, ERASED, Kiznaiver, Schwarzes Marken, 91 Days, The Testament of Sister New Devil and Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers.
WarnerMedia parent AT&T bought out Crunchyroll and Otter Media from The Chernin Group in 2013. Crunchyroll claims more than 60 million registered users and 2 million subscribers. is available in more than 200 countries and territories and simultaneously translates simulcast series into eight languages around the world.
“This WarnerMedia family collaboration is bringing together an incredible collection of content with a passionate fandom and HBO Max is ‘tottemo ureshiii’ to expand the reach of this inventive artistry,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, president, TNT, TBS, and truTV, said in a statement.
Crunchyroll, a subsidiary of Otter Media (a WarnerMedia company) serving anime fans in more than 200 countries and territories, and Viz Media Europe Group, a European licensor and distributor of Japanese animation, have signed an agreement to join Crunchyroll’s global platform with Viz Media Europe Group’s network of partners, distributors and licensees.
Through this strategic relationship, Crunchyroll will become the majority investor in Viz Media Europe Group, with the Hitotsubashi Group (Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions) retaining a minority stake in the company. Closing of the transaction will occur once closing conditions have been satisfied, including the receipt of required antitrust clearances.
Crunchyroll, founded in 2006 as an anime-sharing platform, has grown to amass more than 50 million registered users through a variety of content experiences including SVOD and AVOD streaming video, with 2 million paying subscribers and more than 1,000 licensed titles as well as original content; events in more than 18 countries, including hosting two marquee events annually, Crunchyroll Expo and the Anime Awards; consumer anime products; games; and manga. Its content collection includes “Naruto Shippuden,” “Attack on Titan,” and “Dragon Ball Super.”
Viz Media Europe Group, comprised of Viz Media Europe (VME), AV Visionen, Anime Versand and Viz Media Switzerland (VMS), is an established licensor and distributor of Japanese content for the EMEA region, bringing fans a variety of experiences, including content distribution, theatrical distribution, consumer products, manga publishing, DVDs and streaming video, including Anime on Demand (AoD) launched in 2007 as the first legal streaming platform in Germany for anime with nearly 5,000 episodes and films available, and Anime Digital Network (ADN), a French platform launched in 2013 in partnership with Média-Participations dedicated to anime with more than 6,000 episodes and films available.
“Crunchyroll and Viz Media Europe Group will bring together significant expertise, capabilities, and dedication to grow and promote our respective licensed and original content,” said Joanne Waage, GM of Crunchyroll, in a statement. “We look forward to learning from and collaborating with our new colleagues in Paris, Lausanne and Berlin, so we can continuously create the most engaging experiences for anime and manga communities around the world.”
“Japanese manga and anime are now established as a unique culture throughout the world. Through Viz Media Europe group, Shogakukan, Shueisha, and ShoPro strive to apply our collective expertise and experience to share and promote Japanese manga and anime throughout Europe,” said Nobuhiro Oga, senior managing director of Shogakukan, in a statement. “The growth of the manga and anime market in Europe has been in thanks to the love and support given to Japanese content from our partners throughout Europe. Together with Crunchyroll, we intend to introduce even more of our works and better service to our European fans. We look forward to working together with our respected partners, to provide greater support to our growing audience.”
“We have built a large network in EMEA and beyond, expanding our manga and licensing expertise through multiple skills in various business lines: TV, DVD, Digital & Merchandising,” said Kazuyoshi Takeuchi, CEO of Viz Media Europe Group, in a statement. “Over the last decade, our team has shown a deep understanding of Japanese pop culture and adaptation within local markets, and I believe this relationship will strengthen our position and future growth, adapting to changes in the dynamic Japanese animation industry and global business climate.”
“We look forward to working with Crunchyroll, an established player in the anime industry worldwide, and hope to further the anime industry in Germany by sharing our experience,” said Mathias Nowoczin, managing director of AV Visionen, in a statement. “With this relationship, we will be able to offer even more anime to our fans. Our brands KAZÉ Anime, KAZÉ Manga and Anime on Demand will be able to expand our recognized position as a German anime publisher through the varied and high-quality portfolio.”
“Crunchyroll has helped enable anime to become a mainstay in popular culture, and we are committed to this growing category. This transaction between Crunchyroll and VIZ Media will combine one of the major anime brands ex-Asia with a well-known and beloved manga and anime distributor,” said Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, in a statement. “Together, we aim to create connections for passionate anime fans across Europe and beyond.”