Amazon has just announced huge news for anime fans: it's signed a global deal to bring Crunchyroll's catalog of anime to Prime Video. You'll be able to select from two ad-free tiers, Fan or Mega Fan, with prices starting at $7.99 per month in the US ($9.99 for the premium Mega Fan tier). That'll give you access to Crunchyroll's massive anime selection, including new releases shortly after they're launched in Japan.
It's hard to overstate how big a deal this is for anime fans, because Crunchyroll has the world's largest streaming library of the best anime. It has over 24,000 hours of shows over 46,000 episodes of over 1,300 series and films, which means that one of the best streaming services has gotten a whole lot bigger.
If you're an anime fan but don't have any cash to spare, Amazon hasn't forgotten about you. It's bringing the 24/7 Crunchyroll linear channel to Freevee, where you can watch for free in exchange for putting up with the occasional ad.
Reasons to be cheerful about Crunchyroll on Prime Video
The Crunchyroll catalog isn't just available for streaming. Mega Fan subscribers will also be able to download shows and series to watch them offline. Amazon is also promising more goodies to come. aAccording to Amazon, there will be "additional non-video benefits to be added shortly". As for what those benefits will be, your guess is as good as ours.
If you're thinking "isn't there already a Crunchyroll app that costs the same?" you're right, there is. But what Prime Video offers is much wider device compatibility. While both Crunchyroll and Prime Video are available for mobile devices, the key smart TV platforms and games consoles, the list of devices you can use Prime Video on is much larger and includes lots of Blu-Ray players and other home entertainment kit.
What Amazon's doing here is something Apple's also attempting with its imminent revamp and streamlining of its TV apps: to become your one-stop-shop for all streaming content including from third parties. By using the same Amazon sign-in and app for all kinds of services Amazon (and rivals' similar schemes) makes it much less effort to subscribe to and find content from other streamers, and that's likely to be a win/win for Amazon and for the third parties too.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.