Hulu Sells Japan Operations to Local Broadcaster, Plans to License Brand Name and Tech

Hulu now hopes to be able to focus on its US operations

By Gabriela Vatu on February 28th, 2014 13:53 GMT

Hulu, the subscription video streaming service, has announced that it has sold its Japan operations to a local broadcaster.

The decision was announced by Mike Hopkins, the company’s new CEO, who specified that Nippon TV was the one that would take over the business.

Hulu launched in Japan about three years ago, landing there as the first subscription video on demand service in the market, giving the company a good head start. In fact, Hulu’s service is accessible over more than 90 million devices in the country, including TVs, gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets, mobile devices and Blu-ray players, and not counting PCs.

The company’s business has been quite prolific. From 50 partners, Hulu ended up with over 13,000 shows, including dramas, movies and anime, which are local favorites.

“We have now reached a point in the growth of the business in Japan where we feel the best path forward is to sell the company to a strategic buyer. I’m announcing today that Hulu’s Japan business is to be acquired by Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV), who will assume the day-to-day operations and management of the business at the closing of the transaction,” writes Hopkins, trying to explain why this particular branch is getting sold despite all its success.

In an effort to convince everyone that this is the best move, Hopkins adds a lengthy description of Nippon TV and how it manages to rank at number one among viewer ratings.

The CEO further explains that Hulu will be licensing its brand and technology and will continue to provide services to the Japan business, which is good news for the service’s users, since it means they’ll enjoy the same experience as they have so far.

“In addition to assuming the day-to-day management of the Japan business, Nippon TV will be adding popular Nippon TV titles to the service. More details on what content will be hitting the service, and when, to come later. We’re thrilled that Nippon TV will be able to enhance the entertainment experience for current and future subscribers,” Hopkins explains.

So, from here on out, Hulu will be in the hands of Nippon TV, which will hopefully “take the service to new heights.”

The fact that it won’t have to handle the Japan operations so closely anymore will allow Hulu to focus on the growing business it has in the United States instead. Hopefully, it will now redirect all the extra time to expanding in some European countries, as originally planned.
Hulu passes over responsibility for Japan business
   Hulu passes over responsibility for Japan business
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