Earlier this week, popular on-demand anime streaming site Crunchyroll was hit with massive community backlash after members of the community carefully analyzing encoding methods uncovered a shocking revelation. They found that despite being a site literally dedicated to streaming content, videos created by Crunchyroll featuring original editorial content are hosted on YouTube.
The videos feature Crunchyroll staff such as Reina Scully, Victoria Holden, and Elliot Trinidad talking about various topics, including recommending anime or explaining common tropes to filthy casuals.
“Crunchyroll hosting editorial videos on YouTube is deliberate cost-cutting at the expense of paying customers,” a thread claims on reddit’s /r/anime board. “Crunchyroll is literally a website that streams content — why are these videos on YouTube?”
Users proved their accusations by posting comparison screenshots clearly showing episodes of “Anime Academy” and “Q Review” with the YouTube user interface, rather than the Crunchyroll user interface. A detailed technical analysis of the encoding standard — combined with looking at the URL — further confirmed these videos were indeed on YouTube.
Angry users denounced the site’s unethical business practices, claiming that the majority of users would never have noticed the charade had it not been exposed. Other commenters claimed they had always noticed the videos were on YouTube and it has been bothering them for months, and that this revelation was the “final straw”.
“We are paying customers, and we deserve to watch Crunchyroll’s videos on Crunchyroll!” one comment read.
“I don’t quite understand what all the fuss is about but I’m going back to fansubs,” said another.
The anime community was left confused as to why Crunchyroll would cede traffic and therefore revenue to YouTube, especially since the official Crunchyroll YouTube channel the content is hosted on has fewer than 100 thousand subscribers.
“It’s like the Google Pixel phone not using Android, or Amazon selling stuff on eBay — it just doesn’t make sense,” an anonymous anime fan told Anime Maru. “Crunchyroll is a website that streams videos. It’s literally all they do!”
Crunchyroll was unavailable for comment, and has yet to make a statement about this incident. Meanwhile, some observers have pointed out that Crunchyroll’s Youtube videos have exquisite image quality.