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Hulu is expanding to Japan in a move which will see it offering its services outside of the United States for the first time. Hulu will provide streaming content in the form of movies and TV shows for roughly US$20 per month, or 1500 Yen. To celebrate the launch, all Hulu Japan subscribers receive a free one month trial.
The streaming video service will alter its subscription model for the Asian market. In the US, Hulu offers a choice of a paid service for US$8 monthly or a free subscription. In Japan, the service will be subscription only. Senior vice-president of Hulu, Johannes Larcher said of the launch, “Today, we are taking a first, but important step to make good on our aspiration to serve customers all over the world.”
The company announced, via an official blog post, that films such as Men in Black, Pirates of the Caribbean and TV shows such as 24, Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl would be instantly available from launch day. The site also hints that there is much more to come — most particularly in the form of added content as an increasing number of film studios add their blockbusters to Hulu. Disney/ABC, Sony Pictures, Twentieth century Fox and Warner Bros are currently signed up as content providers.
The Hulu service will also be localised for the Japanese market, as specifically-produced content across Asia will slowly make its way into the Hulu database. All content will be available in English and Japanese.
Hulu’s offerings have proven popular because of the inherent accessibility of the service. The subscription model means that content can be viewed across a variety of devices including gaming consoles, tablets and smartphones.
Hulu is currently on sale, placed there by its co-owners Providence, Comcast, NBC, Fox and NewsCorp. Multiple companies have expressed interest in the sale, such as Dish, Amazon, Yahoo and Google. Hulu will also face competition from Netflix, as it too plans to launch streaming content services in Korea and Japan.