Crunchyroll has stated that it would no longer provide free ad-supported streaming for freshly released episodes, according to an update on its website. Viewers who wish to view new or ongoing programs must subscribe to one of Crunchyroll’s premium plans, which start at $7.99 per month. Before the change, users didn’t need a membership to view simulcast titles, but there was a catch: Crunchyroll would postpone the release of new episodes for free users by one week, while subscribers could watch them one hour after their Japanese debut.
This was something Crunchyroll users were willing to put up with as long as they could see the new episodes. Crunchyroll has now made it impossible for free users to see delayed simulcasts. Crunchyroll promises to provide fans access to a “seasonal sampler,” or a selection of simulcasts expected to debut during the spring 2022 season, including Spy x Family, A Couple of Cuckoos, Tomodachi Game, and others, starting this spring.
Crunchyroll will make the first three episodes of each program in the sampler available for free for a week following their launch until May 31st. Membership is required for any watching beyond the first few episodes or access to Crunchyroll’s complete simulcast program. Crunchyroll claims that all users may still view previously uploaded episodes for free. It’s unknown if Crunchyroll will continue to offer seasonal samplers after spring 2022, or when the episodes from this season’s roster will be made accessible for free watching.