We don’t know who will own Hulu a few months from now, but whoever does should have some people on staff who speak Japanese. The online streaming service says today in a blog post that it will launch a service there later this year — the company’s first foray abroad. Johannes Larcher, Hulu’s SVP of International, says the company has opened offices in Tokyo with “a dedicated Japanese team designing and running the service.” It will be “the first time entertainment fans in Japan will have access to a large selection of premium feature films and popular TV shows at any time, on four screens (PCs, TVs, mobile phones, and tablets), for one monthly price.” Hulu says it won’t provide other details including pricing until the launch. But Larcher says that “Japanese content has played an important part of Hulu’s content lineup in the United States for a long time already.” The country also has the right infrastructure including “extensive broadband penetration, smart phone and other Internet-connected device ubiquity, and strong consumer interest.” Larcher vows to introduce “a high value product specifically tailored for Japanese customers.” Hulu has a site, www.hulu.jp, that will be updated with info about the launch plans. Hulu is jointly owned by Disney, News Corp, and Comcast’s NBCUNiversal but is on the auction block.
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