AnimeLab Switching To Premium Plans

Madman's anime streaming service, AnimeLab, has been chugging along nicely for a while now, and is now making its prophesised switch to a premium service. But while you'll have to pay for the finer features, there's still a lot up for grabs for free.

The plan was always to go premium. Up until now, AnimeLab has been in "beta", though it's been fully functioning, and from time to time we see it updating its catalogue with more content. Frankly, I'm surprised they've offered everything for free this long, and that there'll still be a free service moving forward.

What it basically comes down to is a HD 1080p stream for premium subscribers, with no ads. Free users will have a limited back catalogue, a one week delay on simultaneous casts from Japan, preroll ads, and a maximum of 480p.

Still... You can watch anime for free. A lot of it. And I'm betting that's smart, because anime has a way of dragging you in until you're on a spree of 100 episodes.

I tried out the service last year, and was very happy with it. Fullscreen, high def, no issues with the stream. I used it to see what all the fuss was about over Attack on Titan, and while I enjoyed it, I now avoid the service like the plague because there are things I want to do with my life.

Signing up to premium will also give you discounts on Madman products, incentives for the first 500 sign-ups, and a chance to win a trip to Japan.

More details on the plans below:

AnimeLab Premium

  • 30 Day free trial
  • No advertising
  • HD / Up to 1080p
  • No Delay on simulcasts
  • Access to full back catalogue
  • Access to Subbed and Dubbed shows
  • Priority support
  • Membership perks
  • Free

  • Pre-roll advertising
  • SD / Up to 480p
  • 1 week delay on simulcasts
  • Limited access to Back Catalogue
  • Signing up for AnimeLab's premium service will set you back $6.95 per month, or $69.95 per year. Check it out here.


      I'd say that's pretty fair, honestly. Watching anime for free? That's pretty swish in my books.

      Pricing is pretty reasonable but IMO their library is still way too small to justify paying for it over, say, Crunchyroll, especially since CR has proper apps for the major consoles and so on as well where AnimeLab is still limited to Web, iOS and Android.

        Yeah. I gave up on AnimeLab pretty quickly because it wasn't very accessible and the library just didn't have much in it. Mostly though I just wish they'd partner with Crunchyroll to make it so that I can pay an extra $3 on my Crunchyroll membership to get anything that's up on AnimeLab (dubs, shows that are region locked, etc) via the Crunchyroll client.
        I like these services but there are so many of them and they all create some sort of fragmentation. AnimeLab is a good service, even the free version sounds pretty sweet, but I just don't want the hassle of keeping track of yet another streaming service. It makes a solid argument for buying over priced DVDs. If only I had the space to keep them.

        Last edited 26/05/15 1:41 pm

          They've actually been expanding the library a lot :) and i have non doubt it'll expand heaps more over the next few months and even after

        I've enjoyed all the titles on AL way more than CR even if the library is smaller. also no console apps for CR if you live in aus (ps3/ps4 no dice) also i'd be surprised if the library didn't expand now they are past beta.
        also the AL website works flawlessly on the ps4 i was able to happily log in and watch everything with no issues.

        Last edited 27/05/15 1:34 am

        You can also get access to animelab on xbox im not sure about any other console though

          You're responding to a post that's nearly three years old...

      I'll stick to my badly dubbed anime on YouTube, thanks XD

      They need to expand their library before I'd consider subbing. I've used them before for a few shows, but a lot of stuff I want to watch isn't on their site.
      I've also had issues with the streams themselves on their sites. Until I got NBN it liked to glitch out for no reason. I had a situation where it only played the first few minutes of an episode and then the video would freeze. Audio would continue, but not the video. Happened on multiple episodes of the same show (Psycho Pass).
      So yeah, not going to subscribe just yet...

      Been waiting for them to do this and it's such a great price, insta premium for me.

        how do i know if i was one of the first 500?

      I knew this would happen sometime but it was still a surprise when it did. I've been thoroughly enjoying my Crunchyroll subscription so it's a bit of a toss up as to whether I go for two subscriptions or just hope the few shows I want to watch on AnimeLab are free.

      Those looking for a third option can check out Hanabee's VOD section. It's not quite as refined as Crunchyroll or AnimeLab but still lets you watch things for free at the moment.

      Last edited 26/05/15 2:01 pm

        I wouldn't be surprised if you start to see a bunch of the shows that are region-blocked to stop AU accessing them on CR somehow turn up on AnimeLab instead. Japanese publishers probably stand to make more by licensing shows to CR and Madman separately and I'd expect that as much as possible, Madman would look to secure exclusive AU streaming rights meaning CR gets locked out.

          They allready do this. Australians dont get to see some titles that are licensed for streaming in Australia. You should google difference in crunchyroll beteen australia and america.

      I watch CrunchyRoll and AnimeLab. Typically if I've watched everything in my list on CR, I'll jump on AL and watch a couple eps. I think this will still work well using the Free Service, as AL doesn't have the new release Anime I'm keen on.
      The limited Library would be due to the similar issue that Netflix has. Both CR and AL would have limited or shared rights for streaming different shows in Australia.

      Last edited 26/05/15 3:09 pm

      I'm pretty sure the free service only has subbed and not dubbed. That put me off right away, A because I don't like subs and B because taking away something and adding a cost on it isn't the way a premium service should be done.

      I'm already a subscriber to Crunchyroll, as their library is much larger. I won't be signing up to AnimeLab too. It's frustrating to have to subscribe to two services that do essentially the same thing in their own niche of TV, just to get all the shows I want, but that's how these services work. Not even Netflix has every show. Sigh...

      Cool... But Nyaa torrents is still 100% free. Plus I get better quality animes with pretty karaoke.

        Maybe once someone can really match the fansubbers will I use their service.

          If only content producers and people who pay for the licenses could somehow compete with free, on demand, DRM-free material without advertisements! Curse those profiteering gluttons! Meanwhile, I'm going to start stealing groceries from Woolies. Why should I have to pay $3/kg for fresh apples when I can have as many as I can fit in my pockets for free?

            Well I was kind of only taking about subtitles, not DRM, ads or things for free. But if you want to steal your groceries from Woolies all the best to you. I honestly prefer the shopping at the local farmers market though, their apples are much fresher.

          Pretty sure that most fansubbers these days just rip the subs from places like crunchyroll (at least the ones doing shows already liscenced)

      eh, it's Madman.
      Australia's Anime Dictator once again charging a price for a lackluster library that makes you wonder if it's worth buying... Just like their DVD releases.

      Hope they do well and then add manga, properly. I joined CR mostly to read manga but I found the manga section barebones and underdeveloped. There's, for reals, no way of tracking down or bookmarking what you are following, which is ridiculous, taking in account that ripoff manga sites have been doing it for years.

        It's sad to see businesses not being able to match what kids code into their websites for free. :(

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