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, s teamers 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. Not to mention, some users will see a price increase as they transition to Crunchyroll.
Sony Erases Funimation Users’ Purchases as It Sunsets the Service
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 recieved 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 simply 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. The least Sony could do is offer to replace some of the lost content. But the company gives no indication they have any desire to even make an attempt.
Crunchyroll’s Prices to Wildly Increase as Funimation Shuts Down
If that didn’t feel like enough suffering, Sony will also increase Crunchyroll’s pricing dramatically. 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 means the price of Crunchyroll has doubled. Users who pay per month will also see an increase from $5.99/month on Funimation to $9.99/month on Crunchyroll.