Hulu isn’t going to be left behind in the race for global streaming video domination. Like Netflix, the company recently announced they would be launching a new original series starring Morgan Spurlock. And now they’re adding millions of potential new customers with their just-announced plans to launch their streaming service in Japan in late 2011. The Hulu Japan siteis already live, even though the service isn’t just yet. Interested parties can go sign up if they’d like to be kept in the loop as the official launch date approaches. This isn’t just a new Japanese version of the website, but a much more official move into the country. It sounds like they’re in it for the long haul, and have already opened offices in Tokyo according to their company blog post:
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.
Hulu certainly seems pretty excited about it. They even duplicated the press release in a Japanese version: How thoughtful is that?
The real question is: will the Japanese viewers be excited about it? Will they care? What kind of content mix will Hulu Japan carry? How much will it cost? These are all questions for which we’ll have to wait on answers, as Hulu wants to save some details until closer to the launch.
But Japan is a leading country in technology adoption, and online video is on the rise there as it is nearly everywhere else in the world. With the right content varieties, Hulu could find themselves tapping into a lucrative new market in Japan.