Is RWBY arriving on Crunchyroll a good idea, or is this a signal of the show’s endgame?
We ran another survey for Bumbleby HIVE back in early February this year, asking fans on their thoughts on Crunchyroll’s recent deal for RWBY. Rooster Teeth announced that the subscription service for anime will host the ninth volume of RWBY, and will later become home for more adventures in Remnant. The survey had been shared around in relevant social media circles including Twitter, Tumblr, various subreddits and Discord servers, which asked roughly 10 questions about the deal, as well as Volume 9 and other streaming services.
They should’ve kept it the same way Rooster Teeth did; public after a week, or if they really had to, a month.
Based on results from 171 respondents, 55% of people on average said they were happy with the decision for RWBY to be featured on Crunchyroll. That is despite 31% of them were currently subscribed to Crunchyroll, whereas Netflix (53.6%) remained to be the most popular streaming service. Interestingly enough, it was more popular than Rooster Teeth’s FIRST service (18%) and HBO Max* (24%).
Only 56% of respondents are planning to watch Volume 9 episodes as they release on Crunchyroll’s on-demand service, which will be behind their Premium-only paywall for a year. Rather interestingly, at least 27% of them would pirate the show instead, which may suggest it may not deliver as heavy of an impact as feared. Only time will tell if the show would open to high enough numbers to make Volume 10 happen, which is currently not greenlit by Rooster Teeth.
“I think it’s fine that RWBY is now exclusive to Crunchyroll,” said one of the respondents. “But my only complaint is the episodes only going public after a year. They should’ve kept it the same way Rooster Teeth did; public after a week, or if they really had to, a month.”
66% of people were excited about the 9th volume of RWBY, although 22% of them have only cited it as a reason to subscribe to Crunchyroll. In fact, 64% of them would prefer to support CRWBY and their show instead of boycotting Rooster Teeth, after their string of controversies during October of last year.
When we asked people for their opinion on Geoff’s statement on Rooster Teeth, all of them gave it an average approval rating of 58%. It was a mixed reception, but it was not that much of a strong response that people have hoped for.
The only possible way that this deal supports CRWBY is through re-negotiating contract positions for those who were let go, and even then, that isn’t a guarantee.
“Geoff’s statement was only a means to double down on the opaqueness of the situation by making demeaning emotional appeals in support of the decision,” said one of the respondents. “This all occurs over the backdrop of RT’s mass layoffs, where they let go a majority of Volume 9’s [animation staff]. Claiming that [fans are “supporting” CRWBY by watching V9 on Crunchyroll] is somewhat deceitful. The only possible way that this deal supports CRWBY is through re-negotiating contract positions for those who were let go, and even then, that isn’t a guarantee. I can’t help but see this decision and subsequent public statement as tone-deaf.”
Also in the survey we have asked people on their spending for streaming services, the results of their incomes were rather varied. But roughly half of them were subscribed to 1 or 2 streaming services, with at least 4% of them being subscribed to over 6 streaming services. Therefore, no matter the income, subscribing to any service was a rather picky affair.
But the most interesting stat of these results show that more people would be happier with RWBY back on Youtube than on Crunchyroll. It was a question where respondents could select more than one choice, but 62% of them would be happy with RWBY appearing on Youtube, with 54% preferring it on Crunchyroll. Rooster Teeth FIRST and Netflix are joint third as preferred services for RWBY with 36.3% each.
However, a lot of the comments do believe the show should be supported, despite some not approving of it appearing as a Crunchyroll exclusive. Here are our favorite picks of them.
- “I think the change just treats RWBY as a proper animation production instead of just a web show. The change only affects free viewers, not the people who were already capable and willing to pay, even those who already paid without knowing the change was coming can ask for a refund.”
- “I’d watch RWBY on YouTube only if it’s free. YouTube [Premium] is a horrible option. Enough people have Amazon Prime and Netflix to be viable. Hulu and Crunchyroll have their issues but have other content. Rooster Teeth has little else that interests me anymore with RWBY being it’s only real animated property and the website player is just awful.”
- “The large amount of streaming services out there these days makes each individual one have much less content overall, as studios usually don’t license their work to everyone. This decreases the value of each individual service – particularly smaller ones – and makes it more likely that people pirate stuff, just because the services they already subscribe to don’t offer a specific show they want to watch. For RWBY, moving to a larger service should thus increase not only the discoverability but also the likelihood that people are willing to pay for it.”
- “I don’t actually have a problem with Crunchyroll as a service, I just feel as a (former) FIRST member that being told the ONLY way I was gonna see RWBY is if I paid for a membership with them. That’s a fairly large slap in the face. I don’t mind paying for RWBY, but I cannot do so in good conscience with Volume 9 after being strung along for 2 years, only to then be told it’ll be another year if I don’t cough up extra cash. I will probably pay for Volume 10 and forward, but Volume 9’s treatment is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.”
I don’t mind paying for RWBY, but I cannot do so in good conscience with Volume 9 after being strung along for 2 years, only to then be told it’ll be another year if I don’t cough up extra cash.
It’s a positive reception compared to the last survey, showing people are still interested to see Volume 9. But with similar sample sizes and opinions between them, their minds did not change on this matter, which could suggest that the Rooster Teeth controversy may have made a bigger impact on the show than the Crunchyroll deal.
Unfortunately, the results may not be conclusive enough since most who did the survey are fans of the show, as 97% of the respondents have caught up with Volume 8 of the show which released back in 2020 and had finished early next year. Therefore it’s not well known if RWBY is likely to receive more viewers due to the Crunchyroll deal, or it became less popular when it was brought outside of Youtube. After all, it was free to view on Google’s owned service before Volumes 6-8 became exclusives to Rooster Teeth’s streaming service, before it nested on Crunchyroll as their new home.
“I am disappointed and hurt by the recent revelations about Rooster Teeth,” said one of the respondents. “That said, I also believe in giving art an ending that makes sense, rather than just killing it. Everything is better when RWBY is on, and I plan to watch it for the rest of my life, even long after it ends. I hope that its move to Crunchyroll exclusivity allows RWBY a degree of separation from Rooster Teeth that will protect it, should they crumble and fall. If for nothing else than to finish Monty’s story.”
We would express our thanks to all those who submitted their responses to our survey, and keep posted for more news on HIVE and Bumbleby news!
* Sky and Now TV also count as HBO Max choices due to their similar subscription services.
NOTE: As the results are based on the data of 171 Participants, they may not be fully representative of the generalized viewpoint of the RWBY community