Hulu Heads to Japan

Since the very beginning of Hulu, we have had our aspirations firmly set on serving audiences around the globe. We recognize that entertainment fans beyond the U.S. have the same desires as those on our home shores: find and watch the world’s premium content when, how, and where they want. Today, we are taking a first, but significant step in realizing that vision.

We are happy to announce that Hulu will be launching in Japan later this year, a move that marks our first international expansion. With the launch of Hulu’s Japanese subscription service, for the first time entertainment fans in Japan will have access to a large selection of premium feature films and popular TV shows at any time, on four screens (PCs, TVs, mobile phones, and tablets), for one monthly price. We are not announcing further details of the product offering at this time (we have to leave something to the imagination, right?) but we will share the specifics when we launch.

We are excited about entering Japan right now for a number of reasons. For one thing, Nihon wa subarashii kuni desu (“Japan is a wonderful country”). Japanese audiences are passionate about premium video content, and the country is a major producer of world-class TV and feature films (Japanese content has played an important part of Hulu’s content lineup in the United States for a long time already). In Japan, we also see an unfulfilled market need with respect to premium feature film and TV content, and very favorable environmental factors to a service like ours, including extensive broadband penetration, smart phone and other internet-connected device ubiquity, and strong consumer interest. We have been able to use what we have learned from Hulu and Hulu Plus, in addition to the insights gleaned from our market research, to design a high value product specifically tailored for Japanese customers.

We believe Japan is a vibrant market for premium video content distribution online, and are committed to our Japanese service for the long-term. We have opened offices in Tokyo, with a dedicated Japanese team designing and running the service, and are hard at work finalizing preparations for launch later this year.

People interested in the Hulu subscription service in Japan can visit www.hulu.jp to sign up to receive details on the launch.

Domo Arigato,
Johannes

アメリカで話題のHuluが、いよいよ日本でサービス開始!

ヨハネス・ラーチャー

Senior Vice President of International

国際部 上級副社長

Huluは設立当初から、世界中の方々にサービスをご提供したいという強い思いを抱いて参りました。いつでも、どこでも、気軽に世界のプレミアム動画コンテンツを楽しみたいという願いは、アメリカのみならず、世界中のエンターテインメント・ファンに共通していることだと思います。私たちは今、そのビジョンを実現するための重要な一歩を踏み出したのです。

Huluは年内に日本でサービスを開始いたします。これはHuluにとって記念すべき、アメリカ国外初進出となります。日本でのサービス開始により、日本のエンターテインメント・ファンは、初めて、テレビやパソコン、携帯電話、タブレット型端末で、人気ハリウッド映画や、海外ドラマの豊富なラインアップをいつでもどこでも、月額固定料金で楽しむことができるようになります。詳細は、サービス開始時にお知らせいたしますので、楽しみにお待ち下さい。

当社が日本でのサービス開始を心より喜んでおりますのは様々な理由からです。先ず始めに、日本は素晴らしい国だということです。日本の視聴者はプレミアム動画コンテンツへの関心が大変高く、その結果、日本は世界に通用するテレビ番組や映画を数多く生み出しています。(日本で制作されたコンテンツはずいぶん前からアメリカHuluで人気を集めています。)また日本には、ハリウッド映画や海外ドラマの分野において、未開拓の市場ニーズがあると考えております。その上、ブロードバンドの普及率の高さ、スマートフォンやインターネットに接続されたデバイスの浸透率、消費者の高い購買意欲など、当社のようなサービスを提供するにはとてもいい環境が整っているのです。私たちは、アメリカの国内サービスであるHuluやHulu Plusから得た経験、そして市場調査から得た知見を生かし、日本のみなさまのニーズに合わせた、付加価値の高い製品を提供する予定です。

私たちは、プレミアム動画コンテンツのオンライン配信は日本でも高い人気を集めると確信し、長期的なサービス提供ができるよう尽力して参ります。すでに東京にオフィスをオープンし、企画と運営にあたる専門チームが、年内のサービス開始に向けて最終調整をしております。

日本のサービスについての詳細をご希望の方は、日本語サイト www.hulu.jp にアクセスの上、メールアドレスのご登録をお願いいたします。

Domo Arigato,

ヨハネス

52 thoughts on “Hulu Heads to Japan

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  2. Any ETA on when Hulu Japan content might be available to Hulu users in the USA?

    I think this fragmentation of the internet is ridiculous. These laws restricting certain internet streaming content to certain countries entirely misses the point of the internet.

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  4. You guys really need to make the Japanese lisenced content available to US viewers. I’d be willing to pay for a separate Japanese lisensed subscription just so my wife could watch her TV shows. But, of course you’ll make it so that the US can only watch US shows, and even when you are travelling overseas you can’t access your paid for material because you’re in another country. The future may be broad, but it is full of lawyers and bean counters who are narrow minded. Let people chose what countries lisenced material they want, and give them the access to it if they’re willing to pay for it. Where they live shouldn’t matter.

  5. Thank you. Now I can only hope you will bring us English programming, as well as Japanese. If o, my friends and I will be very happy campers :).

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  24. Most of Japan’s TV programs are foods and variety shows by the same actors / singers it’s quite boring! But it’s pretty amazing that Hulu managed to infiltrate Japan ~ its entertainment “inner circles” are as closed as its political counterpart! I hope Hulu will become the disruptive force to finally break Japan’s entertainment industry out of its boring shell!!!

    Meanwhile, there’s a HUGE demand for Japanese anime programs outside of Japan! Hulu can well take advantage of that and bring these programs overseas!

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  31. Great to see Hulu go international-in Japan first. Hope you’ll consider launching in more countries in the future like here in Australia.

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  33. Hi everyone,

    For those asking, the focus is on Japan right now. As for other countries, each country has its own set of streaming rights for each piece of content. We want to secure them for each, and our intention is to make Hulu’s growing content lineup available worldwide as quickly as possible. This requires working with the content owners to clear the rights for each show or film in each specific geography. In some cases it may require establishing local advertising relationships to subsidize our streaming costs, and in select regions we may need new technology partnerships to ensure that content delivery is smooth and up to our standards.

    So there’s no further announcements at this time, but the future is a broad place.

    Thanks,
    James
    Hulu Support

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  35. Maybe now the complaints of not being able to watch Hulu VIA the Nintendo Wii will be heard properly, and corrected….

  36. About time Hulu!
    Thanks for finally realizing Japan. Japan has been left out of many things, probably because of copy right issues and so on. But this is great. I hope they Japan will get all the contents.

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  43. Nice! I hope it’s possible to subscribe to Hulu Japan from overseas… I live in Australia but have always wanted to keep up to date with the latest Japanese TV

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