Online TV service Hulu has launched a new subscription service in Japan, a move that marks the first international expansion for the company. Starting at launch and in the weeks following, Hulu’s service will offer entertainment fans in Japan unlimited instant access to hundreds of premium feature films and thousands of episodes from previous seasons of TV shows. Subscribers will be able instantly to access these shows and movies on demand on a wide variety of Internet-connected devices including connected TVs, PCs, tablets and smartphones, without advertising, for ¥1,480 per month (€13.41).
“Since launching Hulu in 2008 in the US, we have been working hard to bring our service to consumers outside our home market and become a global brand. Today, we are taking a first, but important step to make good on our aspiration to serve customers all over the world,” said Johannes Larcher, SVP of International for Hulu.
For the launch of the subscription service in Japan, Hulu has secured licensing deals with major film studios and TV networks including CBS, NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company (Japan) featuring content from Disney/ABC Television Group and The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. Additional content will be rapidly and continually added to the service, including Japanese-produced content and content from across the Asian region.
With the launch of Hulu in Japan, subscribers will be able instantly to watch their content on Internet-connected living room devices including TVs, Blu-ray players, and gaming and entertainment consoles, as well as PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
As with the US service, accounts travel with the user from device to device, seamlessly moving from TV to PC to mobile phone. Subscribers can start watching a show on their phone, and finish watching it on their Internet-connected TV.
For the launch, Hulu has entered into an exclusive mobile marketing partnership with Japan’s largest mobile network, NTT DoCoMo. Details of this relationship will be unveiled shortly. Subscribers in Japan will be able to use Hulu on any mobile carrier or internet service provider on supported devices. There are no long-term contract and no minimum subscription commitments.
Hulu is offering Japanese users one free month to try the Hulu subscription service. Entertainment fans in Japan can go to www.hulu.jp to subscribe.