Why is Crunchyroll set to launch a free anime streaming channel?

Anime streaming giant Crunchyroll announced on October 11, 2023, that it is going to launch a 24/7 linear anime channel that will be free to access and won’t require a paid subscription in the future. This announcement comes after Crunchyroll had to go through a class-action lawsuit, which was followed by a collaboration deal with Sony Picture Entertainment’s Game Show Network to launch this parallel platform.

Crunchyroll and the class-action lawsuit – is the launch of a new channel a way to secure its reputation?

It is important to note how Crunchyroll announced a new channel in the light of it receiving fairly bad press in the recent past. The announcement comes days after the company was slammed with a class-action lawsuit and the eventual fallout of the already completed acquisition of RightStuf – an American video publisher and distributor specializing in Asian entertainment, which was previously acquired by Sony in 2022.

Why is Crunchyroll set to launch a free anime streaming channel
Moriarty the Patriot.(Image credit goes to IMDb)

The class-action lawsuit claims and holds the streaming giant responsible for violating the United States Video Privacy Protection Act as it was alleged that the company disclosed subscribers’ identity and information to third-party companies including Facebook.

Fans are also severely dissatisfied and angered by the fact that the RightStuf acquisition has resulted in complaints related to the Pre-order and backlog systems, including various bugs such as the ones that save the credit card information without authorization.

Shows in Crunchyroll’s new channel – a list of all the releases in the free-access platforms

  • Crunchyroll’s new channel will be an ad-supported but free access medium which is set to be available on LG Channels, the Roku Channel, and Vizio WatchFree+.
  • Moreover, the channel is set to begin service on Amazon’s Freevee starting October 17, 2023. While the primary lineup is that of older anime shows dubbed in English for US audiences, the channel will also feature popular titles such as Psycho-Pass, Horimiya, and Code Geass.
Why is Crunchyroll set to launch a free anime streaming channel
Code Geass. (Image credit goes to IMDb)

That being said, the other list of titles includes the following:

  • Ranking of Kings
  • Moriarty the Patriot
  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
  • Sugar Apple Fairytale
  • To Your Eternity

It is currently unknown whether further shows would be added in the future or not, but presently it is only a limited number of titles that are taken into consideration. However, premium shows and new releases will remain to be a part of the parent company’s subscription packages and streaming services.

Will Crunchyroll’s new channel be a success in the near future?

Crunchyroll has been desperately trying to maintain and uphold its reputation following the lawsuit and the fallout. However, the new streaming channel obviously offers a disposition to these controversies and presents a better deal for the audiences. That being said, it is important to remember that not every popular show will be made available in the channel and it might lead to a restricted success for the company and the channel.

Why is Crunchyroll set to launch a free anime streaming channel
Horimiya. (Image credit goes to IMDb)

Crunchyroll also hasn’t announced the release of any classical anime series, which also becomes a major drawback when launching a new channel. It is not primarily the newer shows but the classics that constantly attract audiences.

What the company could’ve done is that it should’ve made limited episodes available for free streaming and the remaining under a paid subscription, which would not only generate revenue but also gather a lot of popularity and appeal amongst the audiences and the viewers.


The new channel by Crunchyroll will be a gigantic leap that the company has been willing to take. This would not only change the dynamics of access to anime but also change the nature of the corporate streaming giants operated in.

The new channel will bring out a lot of loopholes within the system and the initiative and will give it an opportunity to categorize shows in a different manner. For regular anime updates, subscribe to our newsletter on Spiel Anime!

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