The core $8-a-month service surpassed 3 million subscribers earlier this summer. It will continue as the “Fan” plan. The new levels will be “Mega Fan,” at $10 a month, and “Ultimate Fan,” for $15.
Merchandise — a proven draw for anime fans — is an element of both higher-level tiers.
“Fan” subscribers get access to Crunchyroll’s anime library of more than 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes, with immediate access to simulcast series day-and-date with their premieres in Japan.
“Mega Fan” adds offline viewing, four concurrent streams (compared with just one on the Fan level), and rebates at the Crunchyroll Store. “Ultimate Fan” subscribers get six concurrent streams, an annual membership “swag bag,” and exclusive access to members-only merchandise.
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Crunchyroll also will continue to offer a free, ad-supported streaming service, with episodes available one week after their premiere on other platforms.
The new subscriber offerings are rolling out today, with full availability expected by early September.
WarnerMedia has featured Crunchyroll on HBO Max, the general entertainment service that launched in May. HBO Max arrived on the market after the company had introduced more targeted services like DC Universe and Crunchyroll. The latter originated with Peter Chernin’s Otter Media, which has also cultivated digital brands like Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen. WarnerMedia parent AT&T was a partner with Chernin in Otter before taking full control of it in 2018.
Crunchyroll has declined to comment on speculation it may be up for sale. The Information reported earlier this month that AT&T — which is carrying $153 billion in debt after absorbing Time Warner in 2018 — has held talks with Sony about a potential acquisition. Sony has expertise in anime as the owner of Funimation.