Hulu may not have a new owner yet, but it does have an international presence now that it launched a subscription service in Japan today. Hulu.jp brings "hundreds of premium feature films and thousands of episodes of popular TV shows" to bear, for ¥1,480 per month ($19.19 US). The service is appears to be bringing an American flavor to the island, with film selections like Pirates of the Caribbean, Armageddon and Men in Black and TV shows including Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, Fringe and Grey's Anatomy. Overall the list looks more like Netflix than Hulu's free or Plus services in the US do. So far Japanese users can stream the content directly to Panasonic TVs, iOS and select Android devices, with Panasonic Blu-ray players, Sony Blu-ray players and TVs, Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles and Android tablets all relegated to the "coming soon" list. Check the press release after the break for a full list of content providers signed up so far or just hit the source link to try out a free month so you can decide whether or not it's worth your yen.
Show full PR text
Hulu Launches Subscription Service in Japan
Launch Marks First International Market for Hulu
LOS ANGELES & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Hulu officially 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 first-of-its-kind 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. Subscribers will be able to instantly 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.
"Since launching Hulu in 2008 in the U.S., 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"
"Since launching Hulu in 2008 in the U.S., 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 top 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 to instantly watch thousands of U.S. TV episodes and hundreds of feature films on internet connected living room devices including TVs, Blu-ray players, and gaming and entertainment consoles, as well as PCs, tablets, and smartphones. 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 Microsoft's 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.
Like the U.S. service, the Hulu service in Japan is simple and easy to use. 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.
Hulu is an online TV service whose mission is to help people find and enjoy the world's premium content when, where and how they want it. As we pursue this mission, we aspire to create a service that users, advertisers and content owners unabashedly love. Hulu was founded in 2007 and is operated independently by a dedicated team with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Tokyo and Beijing. NBCUniversal, News Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, Providence Equity Partners, and the Hulu team share in the ownership of the company (www.hulu.com).