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Hulu to launch in Japan

Online video service Hulu is launching in Japan later this year, marking the company’s first international launch.

The company, which is backed by News Corp, NBC Universal and Disney as well as private equity, has long held international ambitions and this is a significant step in its expansion.

The service will include a raft of US and local content and will likely charge viewers a monthly subscription rather than be advertising supported.

“We are happy to announce that Hulu will be launching in Japan later this year, a move that marks our first international expansion,” Johannes Larcher, SVP, international said.

“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.”