Crunchyroll Working to Compensate Users for Digital Libraries Lost in Funimation Transition

It may be a good time to be a fan. But it isn’t a particularly good time to be a consumer. More than ever, the notion of “buying” media you love is significantly in question. First, there are streaming services that offer shaky ownership at best. Content comes and goes from streamers all of the time. Not to mention, streamers are erasing content from their libraries without blinking. But the newest, arguably, most nefarious consequence of streaming involves erasing specific media a user purchased with intent. We’re not talking about purchasing a subscription to a service but a literal exchange of money for a title. For a while, this notion seemed safe, but it’s slowly being eaten away. As Sony shuts down Funimation for Crunchyroll, it will remove all of the purchased content aggregated by Funimation users. Some users will also see a price increase as they transition to Crunchyroll.

In the most recent update to this story, however, Crunchyroll has revealed it is working to offer affected users some measure of compensation. And we are certainly glad to hear that!

Sony Erases Funimation Users’ Purchases as It Sunsets the Service

Angry Luffy One Piece for Funimation shutting down and Crunchyroll issues article
Toei Animation

Funimation will shut down on April 2, 2024. That means users are being ported over to Crunchyroll. But as Funimation’s users shift to their new platform, they’ll do so without their library of purchased content. That’s right, a blog post from Sony shares more about the migration from Funimation to Crunchyroll:

We understand that you may have concerns about your digital copies from Funimation. These Digital copies available on Funimation were a digital access to the content available on the DVDs or Blu-rays purchased.

Please note that Crunchyroll does not currently support Funimation Digital copies, which means that access to previously available digital copies will not be supported. However, we are continuously working to enhance our content offerings and provide you with an exceptional anime streaming experience. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to explore the extensive anime library available on Crunchyroll.

The Verge shares that users who purchased DVDs and Blu-rays of certain anime all received digital copies of the content on Funimation as part of their purchase. Users were promised that they’d have access to those copies forever. But forever ends imminently. Although this instance might seem less cut and dry than, say, purchasing a movie on Amazon, it certainly feels pretty close to that arena.

Regardless of the semantics, users believed they were also purchasing digital copies of their media when they purchased the physical copies. Now, Sony will erase that aspect of their purchase. On the heels of a similar incident with Discovery content on PlayStation, it feels like the start of a worrying trend.

Compensation Is Now On Offer for Users Losing Their Digital Libraries

sailor moon justice hand symbol
Toei Animation

While at first, it seemed like Crunchyroll would not offer users compensation for their lost digital copies, the most recent comments from the company indicate some efforts are now being made. Speaking with The Verge, the president of Crunchyroll, Rahul Purini, shared, “[We] are working really hard directly with each [customer] to ensure that they have an appropriate value for what they got in the digital copy initially. As people reach out to us through customer service, we are responding and handling each of those requests as they prefer.”

However, The Verge points out that “these options haven’t been formally announced or detailed.” When asked what “appropriate value” indicated, Purini replied, “So it could be that they get access to a digital copy on any of the existing other services where they might be able to access it. It could be a discount access to our subscription service so they can get access to the same shows through our subscription service.” Additionally when asked if Crunchyroll “might give people digital copies on other services entirely to make up for what they’ve lost?” Purini noted, “If that is what they prefer.”

It seems like this compensation is functioning on a case-by-case basis. While we’re happy to hear it, it would be great to see a formal set of options noted by the company. But we will applaud this move in the right direction. Hopefully, users feel any lost purchases are equitably restored.

Prices to Increase For Some Users as Funimation Shuts Down

Narrow Eyed Kaiba for Funimation shutting down and Crunchyroll issues article

For some subscribers, though not all, user pricing will increase massively as they transition to Crunchyroll. In an email to subscribers, which we saw via Gizmodo, Sony shared, “You don’t have to leave your Funimation Watch History and Funimation Queue behind, you can migrate them to Crunchyroll. As part of our transition to Crunchyroll, the price will increase from USD $54.95/year to USD $99.99/year beginning January 28th, 2025.”

If we pull out our calculators, we feel pretty sure we’ll find that Crunchyroll’s prices will mean paying double for some. Other users who pay per month will also see an increase from $5.99/month on Funimation to $9.99/month on Crunchyroll.

It is important to note that Crunchyroll’s prices themselves are not changing; only the amount some users who were previously Funimation subscribers will have to pay as they make the move to the new platform. Additionally, once again, not all users who transition to Funimation will see price increases. Users will be contacted individually via email if they will see a price increase.

Originally February 8, 2024.

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