Hulu announces plans to launch service in Japan
Hulu plans to expand its reach into Japan.
On Wednesday, Hulu, the popular online video site, said it would ramp up its international expansion later this year by offering a monthly subscription service in Japan.
Hulu declined to say how much it would charge for the service, or how its program line-up might be different from its free Hulu site or its recently introduced $7.99 a month Hulu Plus subscription service available in the U.S. Those details would be revealed closer to launch, a company spokeswoman said.
"Since the very beginning of Hulu, we have had our aspirations firmly set on serving audiences around the globe," Johannes Larcher, the company's senior vice president in charge of international, said in a company blog post.
"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," Larcher said.
Hulu also is dipping its toe into original productions. On Aug. 17, it plans to unveil a documentary series -- exclusive to Hulu -- called "A Day in the Life" and produced by Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker behind "Super Size Me" and "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold."
In "A Day in the Life," Spurlock spends 24 hours following interesting personalities, including British business mogul Richard Branson, rapper and songwriter will.i.am and comedian Russell Peters.
The company is hoping to make itself attractive to possible investors. The owners of Hulu -- Walt Disney Co., News Corp., NBCUniversal and Providence Equity Partners -- are quietly shopping the 3-year-old service to strategic partners, including Amazon.com Inc., Yahoo Inc., Google Inc. and Apple Inc.
-- Meg James
Photo: Actor Alec Baldwin appeared in Hulu's inaugural television advertisement, in which the company called itself "an evil plot to destroy the world." Credit: Hulu