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Hulu Launches Subscription Service in Japan

August 31st, 2011 by Johannes Larcher

At the very beginning of Hulu, we asked ourselves one simple question: What if?

What if we could help people find and enjoy the world’s premium content when, how and where they want it?

Since then, we’ve aspired to build a product that all our customers would unabashedly love. We’ve been focused on offering the world’s premium content. And we’ve been focused on becoming 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. I am excited to announce that we have launched our first product outside the U.S.

Hulu is now officially available in Japan. Hulu’s first-of-its-kind service offers entertainment fans in Japan unlimited instant access to hundreds of premium feature films and thousands of episodes of popular TV shows from a variety of content providers, 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. Subscribers can watch at any time across connected TV’s, gaming and entertainment consoles, blu-ray players, smartphones, tablets and PCs, without advertising, for ¥1,480 per month.

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 like Pirates of the Caribbean, Armageddon, Men in Black, Troy, and As Good As It Gets and more; and thousands of episodes from previous seasons of TV shows including 24, Bones, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, Fringe, Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, Heroes, LOST, NCIS, Private Practice, Prison Break, and Ugly Betty and more.

And there is much more to come.

As we’ve done in the U.S., we will rapidly and continually add content to the service. The content lineup will only become more robust over time, including the addition of Japanese-produced content and content from across the Asian region in the near term.

We are equally proud of the user experience that the Hulu team has built for Japanese entertainment fans. We are offering an intuitive and fully localized product available in both Japanese and English, with many of the popular Hulu features from the U.S. incorporated into the experience.

Like the U.S. service, the Hulu service in Japan is simple and easy to use. One single subscription follows the user across devices. Without skipping a beat, users can start watching a show on their PC, switch to their smart-phone, and finish watching it on their internet connected TV. No matter when and where an entertainment fan wants to watch popular TV shows and films – whether it’s in the office, in the living room, or on the go — Hulu will be there:

  • • Connected TVs and Blu-ray players: Panasonic VIERA TVs; and coming soon: Panasonic DIGA Blu-ray recorders, and Sony’s BRAVIA® HDTVs and connected Blu-ray Disc™ Players.
  • • Gaming and Entertainment Consoles: Coming soon: Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation®3, and Xbox 360®.
  • • Smartphones, Tablets and other Mobile Devices: Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, select Android phones from Fujitsu, HTC, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony Ericsson; and coming soon: select Android tablets

At our launch event in Tokyo today, we also announced that we have entered into an exclusive mobile marketing partnership with Japan’s largest mobile network, NTT Docomo. Details of this relationship will be unveiled shortly. However, Hulu 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 contracts and no minimum subscription commitments.

We hope that all fans of film and TV in Japan will enjoy Hulu’s service. To celebrate our launch in Japan, we are offering a one month free trial to any new subscriber.

We are committed to the success of our efforts in Japan and future international markets. Hulu in Japan is 100% owned and operated, and our growing Japan team has been hard at work building and inventing in our new Tokyo office. We are in Japan for the long term, and excited to continue building our product for Japanese consumers.

As we celebrate the launch of Hulu in Japan, we are conscious that this is just the first of more markets outside of the U.S. for Hulu. We hope that you will stay tuned for more news regarding our journey around the world.

Domo Arigato,
-Johannes Larcher







いよいよ日本でもHuluが利用できるようになりました。これまでにない新しいサービスで、CBS、NBC ユニバーサル・インターナショナル・テレビジョン・ディストリビューション、ソニー・ピクチャーズ エンタテインメント、20世紀フォックス、ザ・ウォルト・ディズニー・カンパニー(ジャパン)(ディズニー、ABCテレビグループ、ザ・ウォルト・ディズニー・スタジオ)、ワーナー・ブラザースなどが提供する、人気ハリウッド映画や海外ドラマの豊富なラインナップを、日本のエンターテイメント・ファンの皆様に視聴していただけるようになりました。そして、これらのコンテンツは、スマートテレビやテレビゲーム機、ブルーレイプレーヤー、スマートフォン、タブレット、そしてパソコンで、いつでも無制限に、しかも広告なしで、月額固定料金1,480円でお楽しみいただけます。

開始から間もなく、Hulu独自のサービス開始により、『パイレーツ・オブ・カリビアン』『アルマゲドン』『メン・イン・ブラック』『トロイ』『恋愛小説家』といった人気ハリウッド映画や、『24』『BONES(ボーンズ)クリミナル・マインド FBI行動分析課』『デスパレートな妻たち』『フリンジ』『グレイズ・アナトミー』『ゴシップガール』『HEROES/ヒーローズ』『LOST』『NCIS』『プライベート・プラクティス』『プリズン・ブレイク』『アグリー・ベティー』といった数千本を越す人気海外ドラマを、日本のエンターテインメント・ファンの皆様にご提供して参ります。







視聴可能:パナソニック スマートテレビ(ビエラ)

今後対応予定の機器: パナソニック ブルーレイレコーダー(ディーガ)

ソニー 液晶テレビ〈ブラビア〉(インターネットテレビ機能搭載モデル)、

ソニー ブルーレイディスクプレーヤー(インターネット機能搭載モデル)


今後対応予定の機器:ソニー・コンピュータエンタテインメント 「プレイステーション 3」、Xbox 360。


視聴可能: アップル iPhone、iPad、iPod touch、



今後対応予定の機器: アンドロイドタブレット



Huluでは、日本はもちろん、将来、国際的なマーケットにおいても事業が成功するよう尽力して参ります。Hulu Japanは100%Huluの傘下で運営され、新しくできた東京オフィスでは、専属チームが、よりよいサービスを提供できるよう尽力しております。日本のユーザーの皆様にご満足していただけるサービスを提供し続けることができますことを楽しみにしております。


Domo Arigato,


Last comment: Dec 9th 2014 55 Comments
  • layth says:

    I am live in iraq

  • layth says:

    I am live in musol

  • Justin says:



    signed up and I’ll be a subscriber for a long time. I love how the videos are available subtitled in Japanese, although I noticed that the subtitles don’t make the jump across to the iPhone app. Thanks.


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  • dziugas says:


  • lahib says:

    I’m a US citizen and I don’t think I can make a creadit card here.
    Be that as it may, I heard many Japanese students don’t have a creadit card and we usually use bank transfer or convenience store payment to pay the bills like utility bills, electricity bills, or telephone/isp bills here.

  • sam says:

    I would like to see all the channels and I can see and I would like to see

  • Andrew says:

    Please add support of Roku players for Hulu Japan.

    Would also love it if there were more Japanese movies with English subtitles. It is easier to watch Japanese movies in the US than Japan!?

    I enjoy your service, thank you.

  • kawthar says:

    i don”t like hulu

  • Jan says:

    I like this movie…………..

  • malliha says:


  • sara vargas says:


  • olivio says:

    appreciate after all this time I just want to know if I can see a freaking movie tank youuuuuuuuuuuuu….

  • Md. Tofazzal Hossain says:


  • I really watching favourite TV shows and films for years

  • I seen one of my favourite television shows and movies at all times

  • Commander Mclaren says:

    Woopie doo! I tried to watch HULU here and just let me say WORTHLESS just another form of internationalism for you corporations and regionalism for us users like Patrick says. I would rather watch a turd than the crap your trying to flush us with. It will not work took my F’in money but did not work. It’s okay I did not need the money any way. I get OBAMA care. Take HULU and Jam it in your @$$. Thanks for screwing the american military. GREED GREED GREED.

  • Julie says:

    We live on Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan with internet access through Americable. We are huge fans of your service and were heartbroken to see that we no longer have access to HuluPlus. Is there a plan in the works to allow US bases in Japan access? If so, can we suspend our accounts until we can use your service again. HuluJapan is not Hulu anymore for many military members that miss home. It’s not an option.

  • John says:

    Already Contacted Hulu Support But am going To post anyway . Please allow access to Hulu Japan Through My Roku 2 even as a private channel it is frustrating to see the Huluplus logo on my screen but not access it .

  • Patrick says:

    I guess that you think that everyone should feel grateful for offering us poor out-of-the-loop gaijin your vaulted service here in Japan, but I for one am not. First, it doesn’t work if I want to access from a US website — real international of you — and if I try to leave a comment on your CS site, it bombs my browser. Just another example of internationalism for you corporations and regionalism for us users. Thanks!

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  • francis says:

    hi very good

  • PariFuransu says:

    Yes I’m here.

  • Hi Michelle,

    If you have any questions about the Hulu Japan service, please feel free to contact their support team at ( http://www.hulu.jp/support/contact/form ).

    Ryan S.
    Hulu Support

  • Michelle says:

    please let me watch in japan

  • jo says:

    i dont like hulu

  • Hi Toby,

    The language of closed captions varies for different shows. Most shows provide Japanese closed captions; however, some shows may have only English closed captions.

    Our goal is to provide subtitles for all contents on both site and devices (Japanese at least), and meanwhile increase the English subtitle database as we are expanding our library of closed-captioned content. It’s possible that some content do not have subtitles due to temporary technical issues or content issues, but we’re working hard to bring subtitles to all videos.

    Hulu Support

  • Toby says:

    Will the Japanese version be able to translate to English? I am an American living in Japan and I cannot read the instructions in Japanese. I would love to be able to access my favorite TV shows from the states that do not show up on Japanese cable.

  • shan says:

    i likek ur website

  • Cliffton Close says:


  • FantaMamadu Keita says:

    Whope you expande your service to worldwide….It sound excellent.

  • autoankauf says:

    Very nice interface

  • So, you are charging. That is disappointment. 有料というのがとても残念です。

  • Hi Jared,

    Thanks for getting in touch with us. We’re incredibly excited about our recent launch in Japan. At this time U.S. accounts are unable to access the Hulu Japan service, and vice versa. Our international streaming rights have not changed for our content, so users outside of the U.S. will be unable to view any content on ( http://www.hulu.com ).

    If you have any questions about the Hulu Japan service, please feel free to contact their support team at ( http://www.hulu.jp/support/contact/form ). If there are any further questions that I can address, please let me know.

    Hulu Support

  • Jared Busch says:

    Will Hulu Japan be IP locked? I know many Japanese ladies living in the United States who would LOVE to be able to watch their favorite American shows with Japanese subtitles.

  • Frodis says:

    HULU is going to have to step up their game here in Japan if I am going to keep the service. Currently, they are largely streaming programmes already available via domestic satellite services. Granted, you can watch them on-demand rather than waiting for them to arrive in the schedule but the truly interesting content is listed as ‘coming soon’. It’s early days so I am remaining confident that the site will be updated frequently and will begin to carry some unique content worth 2000 yen per month. If coming-soon titles remain in limbo for an extended time, I will cancel my subscription and wait for the service to mature. I adopted HULU on Day One to show my support for a good streaming service. I don’t need a service that charges me to provide content I am currently getting elsewhere.

    If HULU surpasses my expectations, however, I would consider cancelling my satellite subscription.

    Dear HULU, challenge accepted?!

  • Hulu is ok but needs work says:

    I like the idea of expanding in japan but hulu faces many problems, I’m currently paying for the service but what is lacking is the choice of movies you can watch streaming on your pc vs over a roku or similar device but whats odd is who to say someone wont hook up a pc to the tv and stream the stuff they are blocking on other devices like bluray or roku.

    Also hulu is for sale to the largest bidder at the moment and according to the news it could be sold soon for the right deal and that might be a good thing but who to say this japan thing will work out with another company at the helm.

    I have been seriously thinking of doing away with hulu due to the fact I have other services with netflix and blockbuster and the content is much better but lacking in some TV shows. I have a lot of choices and I’m not so sure I will keep this service after its sold.

  • Hi Liz,

    Thanks for your post. Seeing that we have just launched, I’m sure you’ll see our selection improve over time. We’re already hard at work trying to add more recent content to our lineup.

    In regards to payment methods, we may be looking toward other avenues in the future. Stay tuned.

    Hulu Support

  • Cheryl Scott says:

    I live in Seoul Korea and am very interested in Hulu. We have access here, but only on the military post. Please let me know who I need to contact to get more info. Thank You for taking a step out side of the box.

  • Liz says:

    Just took a look at it.
    Very nice interface (very quick, light, smooth) … much better than Gyao!

    why do we have to pay over $15 for this much inferior version?

    Most TV drama episodes seem more than 3 years.
    Where is glee, Castle or Chuck, BTW?

    Plus, no animes, sports, and DramaFever???

    Very dissapointed…

    Besides, no bank transfer payment or convenience store payment for the fee? Even Paypal?

    I’m a US citizen and I don’t think I can make a creadit card here.
    Be that as it may, I heard many Japanese students don’t have a creadit card and we usually use bank transfer or convenience store payment to pay the bills like utility bills, electricity bills, or telephone/isp bills here.

  • Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for your post. This deal doesn’t directly affect the content available in the United States, but we already have Zatoichi on our site ( http://www.hulu.com/zatoichi-the-blind-swordsman ) as well as many other Japanese pieces of content. Take a look around.

    Hulu Support

  • Ian Kennedy says:

    Congratulations on the launch! I have no doubt you’ll do well in a country where there is great demand for US-produced television. As an American (with a Japanese wife) who has a keen interest in Japanese television, do you know of anyone serving customers going the other way? Japan > United States?

  • Jeremy says:

    I’m a Canadian living in Japan, so this is pretty much right up my alley. I signed up and I’ll be a subscriber for a long time. I love how the videos are available subtitled in Japanese, although I noticed that the subtitles don’t make the jump across to the iPhone app. Thanks for making Japan your first international stop.

  • Stephen Tapp says:

    Will U.S. subscribers be getting access to enhanced Japanese content, like every samurai movie and TV series ever subtitled? Like Zatoichi?