How gets 750,000 people to pay for digital content

Like many digital offerings and publications, Crunchyroll is in a niche industry: a global video service for streaming Japanese Anime and Asian media (animated videos).

Whether you publish articles, how-tos, or other content,’s methods work. has a tiered membership model: a free level of service which serves up ads to viewers with free memberships and two paid levels of service with instant access to all of their videos. According to Digiday’s article, Crunchyroll has 20 million registered subscribers and within those subscribers, 750,000 have paid for premium membership.

Their levels are:

  1. Free membership with ads, and delayed access to new videos
  2. Paid membership with no ads, and member gains access to new videos immediately
  3. Premium membership with all paid membership benefits and the opportunity to meet with creators at events

Crunchyroll is a great example of how to meter your content

Give some away for free and offer some at a premium. For small to medium sized digital content publishers, there is an easy method to set this up on a WordPress based platform: Leaky Paywall – which offers your subscribers or members a metered paywall.

Just set your meter to allow X number of free articles before requiring a subscription. This type of metered paywall allows your site to be crawled by search engines, yet give you as a publisher the ability to limit how much a viewer can see before having to subscribe. Leaky Paywall in itself is a free WordPress plugin which offers a few paid add-ons for a more robust offering.

Crunchyroll is one of more and more niche industries that have taken advantage of the benefits to the digital age.

Video streaming service, Crunchyroll, is nearing 750,000 paid members, who subscribe to get exclusive content and online and offline perks.

Source: How Crunchyroll gets 750,000 people to pay for anime – Digidaythe ability to reach viewers from all corners of the globe.


Learn how Leaky Paywall can help grow your subscription revenue