WaniKani Pricing Changes

Unfortunately, running WaniKani isn’t free for us. In fact, it’s kind of unexpectedly expensive!

There are servers, databases, employees, contractors, office rent, video games, bottles of 17-30 year old Japanese whiskey, fabulously fancy dinners on rented train cars, rare pepe cards, and yakuza protection money to pay for. We are also saving up for a yacht. It’s a 160-footer and it has a small orange grove on top. Anyways, my point is: there are expenses. I know you all think it’s just fun and games here at WaniKani, but we run into the same economic issues as the next guy. While you keep that in mind, I want to let you know there will some be pricing changes on WaniKani, which will take effect sometime in the next hour or two. Your monthly and yearly costs are going to change. Base price will now be $9/month, $89/year, and $299/Lifetime (Lifetime is the same, actually).

Here are the nitty gritties:

  • If you purchased a monthly or yearly membership sometime in the last 30 days, you will get a credit applied to your account. It will be a prorated amount refunding you for the change in price (prices are going down, in case you were fooled by my tone), so your credit will depend on when you made your payment. It’s a proration. This credit can and will be used on your next payment. tl;dr, if you got your membership in the last 30 days, you’re getting some free money and the next month/year will be the new, lower price.
  • If you are on a discounted pricing plan (for being a part of the alpha or beta, for example), your monthly/yearly costs will come down too, since your coupons are percentage based. It will be [blank] percent (where blank is how much of a discount you’re getting) off of the new base rates. You should see that on your next payment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them here, or send us an email (hello@wanikani.com). And, consider upgrading so we can get our yacht sometime in the next century? Maybe?



I love you.

If you’re not already married, have your people talk to my people.

Seriously though, you’re the best. :heart:


Ha, you had me going, lol.


Christmas sure came early this year! :tada:

1 Like

Koichi be like


Effect. That is all. :wink:

Seriously, though, classy move. I can’t think of many companys that would reduce prices simply because they are making “more money than they need to”. Actually, make that “I can’t think of any company”.


I’m too sleepy for this type of tricks @koichi

By the way, I don’t know about your company numbers… but you could do this:

Problem: a lot of people out there still don’t know about WaniKani. It took me a couple of months to know about you guys. Kanji was delaying my study. This happens with a lot of people (that end up giving up).

Why don’t you guys collab with the foreign youtubers in Japan? They advertised HelloTalk and HiNative before. They love good products. WK is one.

No need to put money up front. Give them a special discount code for their audience. Every purchase with the discount code gives the youtuber a %.

You get your yacht and people learn Kanji. Does it seem like a good deal? :smiley:


Tofugu would go free if they could.

Like, legit, if there was no cost and time to be funded; tofugu would go 100% free and I would NOT be surprised and that’s why I don’t give a damn if I give them $89 a year for this for forever.


We’re going to do this at some point, but we need to set up a more legit referral system (so they can see their own referral stats, and it’s actually accurate, etc). We could do something as simple as a coupon code, but I’d like it to be one step above that before we start.


Whaaat, you’re crazy, I spelled it correctly and there’s definitely no edit history you can view to say otherwise 0_0


As someone who subscribed literally today, I love this topic.

For a moment I was like “oh no…”

Then I had to do some math and check the post time just to make sure I was reading and understanding it right.

Well played, koichi. Well played.


I second this idea!


Awesome! Agree! Thanks for the clarification :slight_smile:

1 Like

You’ll get used to Koichi’s shenanigans after a while. Especially if you listen to the Tofugu Podcast.


You’ve never seen an old product get reduced in price because it’s older? New movies eventually go into cheaper theaters or Netflix. Last year’s car models are cheaper than this year’s. PS3 cheaper than PS4. Goods and services depreciate, whether they are physical or virtual. Granted, WK is slightly different from something like a gaming system or phone model that gets updated every year, but it’s essentially the same idea. A service like Netflix sees price increases partly because it’s constantly changing, updating, and responding to changes from internet providers. WK seems to be mostly maintenance. The product itself hasn’t been significantly updated (i.e. adding levels 51-60) for a long time. Now, if it were a site that did have constant updates, it’d make sense to see some price hikes perhaps. As is, though, the site isn’t something that drastically needs new content, and so most updates are QoL improvements.

I imagine WK’s biggest costs were its fixed costs starting out. As time went on, the subscriptions reimbursed that and started covering the smaller variable (month to month) costs and beyond. So it makes sense to see a price decrease as it’s an older product and sometimes that’s what it takes to get new people to buy (so decreasing the price could be a good business move).

50% sushi that’s been out for 12 hours, anyone? At least WK doesn’t rot…I hope :wink:

Edit: Also, I don’t see why you put “make more than they need to” in quotes. I don’t see them saying that, at least not in this topic.


Well, I’m not sure he implied that’s the reason. Maybe the demand curve for WK is such that enough new people will sign up to outweigh the loss of revenue from the existing user base.


Holy smokes, thank you very much Koichi!

First you guys offer to send me a physical gift, and now you offer proration within like a week from my purchase of a year? I’m truly, very grateful. <3

3 of my friends use WaniKani because of me know, I hope they too convert to Premium! I’ll try to convince them into going premium!


Yes, that’s what I was getting at. I’m not at all saying that WK doesn’t love their users, but people shouldn’t ignore that this is a common business strategy.


This is fantastic.

This is why I love WK.

In response, I’d like to do 1 of 2 things, depending if it is possible.

  1. Is there a way to donate to WK?
  2. Is there a way to gift a subscription to people?

This is amazing, thank you!