Crunchyroll, the anime streaming service, is putting up the price of its premium subscription in several markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Nordic countries. In the U.S. and Australia the price will rise from $6.95 to $7.99 ($79.99 per year) and in the UK the price will jump from £4.99 to £6.50 (£64.99 per year).
One of the main reasons for the price increase is the rising cost of content, as the company said in a statementsaid:
“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, allowing us to create even more experiences for them to connect with each other and through shared passion for anime.”
Crunchyroll boasts 12 million monthly active users and 2 million paying subscribers. Those paying each month can continue paying the current price for the next three months before their bill increases; those who pay annually will get to pay at the current price for another year.
It’ll be interesting to see how customers respond to the price hike given anime’s already existing problems with piracy. With much of the anime target audience being younger, their ability to pay the new price could decline and push them towards piracy.