Crunchyroll Levels Up Membership Pricing; Almost Gets It Right
Finally otaku can view their favorite anime offline on Crunchyroll. For a price . . .
If you have been following along you might know that Crunchyroll increased their pricing tier just over a year ago between the premium and free tier accounts. Honestly it was only a dollar at the time, and not particularly onerous on otaku. Of course yesterday Crunchyroll has announced once again plans to increasingly siphon funds from your wallet.
Now there are four possible plans – Free, Fan, Mega Fan, and Ultimate Fan.
The Free and the Fan plans continue the lineage of the original Free and Premium tiers. If you still want to watch your favorite anime a week after debut and save a few bucks, Free is for you. In the event you are already a paid subscriber, nothing is changing at all. Its the Mega Fan and Ultimate Fan tiers that are most interesting, and maybe the most pointless for many.
The Mega Fan and the Ultimate Fan
The Mega Fan tier is where the price gouging begin. For 10 bucks a month, you get everything that the previous premium plan had, and a few more paltry benefits. If you are really into merchandise and buying things from the Crunchyroll store specifically, then this might be of interest to you. Mega Fans get “a special benefit for the Crunchyroll Store that provides $15 off a purchase of $100 every three months.” That’s not a bad deal if you buy a decent amount of merch every season.
Upgrading even further gets you into the Ultimate Fan tier for a measly $15 per month. To me that is a lot for a member fan bag; exclusive merch; and a whopping $25 off that $100 purchase you make this season. I understand this is enticing to someone, clearly just not me. Of course these is one more perk for these new tiers not yet available to the regular Fan tier – Offline Viewing.
Offline Viewing Comes to Crunchyroll
One of the most ridiculous things missing from the Crunchyroll app for the longest time has been offline viewing. Being able to watch your favorite anime on your commute or even while in the car on a road-trip sounds like a grand old time. Unfortunately up until now it has been a pipe dream. Now it can be yours for an additional $2 per month!
Its disappointing to see the offline viewing gated by the higher tiers of pricing. If you are a smart otaku, you know you can connect your Crunchyroll account to the VRV app, and already watch online with your Fan tier account. It was already embarrassing that the team behind Crunchyroll didn’t have it working, and now it will cost extra just to get this almost expected feature of an app in 2020. Whoever made this decision probably forgot that were in the middle of a crisis and many of us who do want that feature don’t need it right now.
Its a bit of a swing and a miss on the part of Crunchyroll in my opinion. Their higher tier plans don’t really appeal to me to get cheaper merch at the cost of more per month. This isn’t a bad deal per se, but it isn’t exciting. Offline viewing is an exciting feature. Just disappointingly stuck behind one paid tier too high.
[Source and Further Reading]
[Info & Image via Crunchyroll]
[Found via Engadget]