Funimation's solution for erasing digital libraries could be a good one, if it works

Crunchyroll President Rahul Borini announced that the company is working to compensate customers who will lose their digital libraries in the upcoming Funimation/Crunchyroll merger on April 2.

“[We] They work hard directly with all of them [customer] “To make sure they have appropriate value for what they got in the digital version initially,” Borini says. edge Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel this week Decryption Podcast. “As people reach out to us through customer service, we respond and handle each of these requests as they prefer.”

When Borini was asked what “appropriate value” meant, he said: “So it's possible that they can access a digital copy on any of the other services out there where they might have access to it. That might be a discount on access to our subscription service so they can access To the same offers through our subscription service.

These options have not been officially announced or detailed, and Borini went on to say that this is something Crunchyroll customers are currently taking advantage of. My attempts to secure the “proper value” for some digital copies have so far been unsuccessful.

Funimation's original offer allowed customers who purchased Funimation discs to redeem a code for a digital copy that could be accessed via a digital rights locker similar to Movies Anywhere. In 2017, Sony acquired Funimation for $148 million. This purchase was followed by its $1.175 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T, which was completed in 2021. With two anime streaming services under one owner, a merger was the next step.

The merger came with the news that the Funimation streaming service would be shutting down, taking users' libraries of digital copies with it although Funimation's website still promised that digital copies would be available for streaming “in perpetuity” (subject, of course, to the terms of use agreement Most people don't read it.)

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When asked on Decryption Why customers would lose their digital libraries Borini had a clear answer: “As we look at the usage of that and the number of people who were redeeming those libraries and using them, that was not a feature that was available on Crunchyroll and is not a feature.” “It's not on our roadmap.”

He went on to confirm Decryption For listeners, Crunchyroll has a convenient solution for customers who are losing their libraries. “I will say that we value these customers very much and we work hard directly with each one of them to ensure they get the right value for what they got in the digital version initially.”

But in practice, Crunchyroll's policy seems inconsistent and difficult to take advantage of.

I opened a customer service ticket with Funimation expressing concern that my digital copies would disappear by the next sunset and wondering what the company would do about it, if anything. I received two emails that were basically the same as the typical customer service response apologizing for the inconvenience but not offering any type of solution to my problem.

The Funimation account I used to test this was a free account that had a digital copy of it Escavelone's vision In her library, she was also able to add a digital copy of Staines; Gate. In my last communication with Funimation customer service, I explained that since I had a free account, I would no longer be able to watch Staines; Gate Digitally since this offer requires a premium subscription. in addition to, Escavelone's vision It's not a title currently available on Crunchyroll, so unless the show drops at Sunset on Funimation, I'll lose digital access to it as well.

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I asked if Crunchyroll would at least be willing to give me a premium subscription so I could continue watching Staines; Gate — something Borini said the company has been actively doing for customers who ask. As of publication date, Crunchyroll customer service has not responded.

the edge I reached out to Crunchyroll PR to clarify how much the company works with its customers to provide “right value” to their digital libraries and whether this is something it is actively doing now or something that will come in the future. We asked if it plans to communicate this to its customers, if there are any restrictions customers should know before pursuing this, and how long this offer will be on offer.

“Funimation users who have questions about digital copies can contact Funimation,” Brian Ealy, vice president of communications, responded in an email. here. A Funimation account associated with redeeming the digital copy is required for verification.

While this was frustrating, this isn't the first time Sony customers have had their digital purchases put at risk. In December, PlayStation issued a permanent suspension to users from the PlayStation Network, blocking them from their digital purchases before restoring access to those affected without providing any explanation for the ban. In the same month, it also announced that it would remove a range of Discovery shows from users' libraries due to expiring content licensing arrangements before reversing that decision. Hopefully, Crunchyroll's approach to its users' digital libraries will follow suit.

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