Popular online American video service Hulu has today announced it’ll soon be available in Japan, but says it isn’t prepared to comment on plans for Australia at this stage.
Hulu provides a multi-platform online TV show portal that allows users across an array of devices to watch American television shows from many leading providers with adverts for free online.
The company, owned in part by NBCUniversal, News Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, Providence Equity Partners and the Hulu team, today revealed on the company blog plans to open the Hulu site in Japan by the end of the year.
It’ll the first time that the company has made its service available to people outside of America, with Hulu offices in the region already up and running in preparation for the official launch later this year.
“Japanese audiences are passionate about premium video content, and the country is a major producer of world-class TV and feature films,” Senior Vice President of International at Hulu, Johannes Larcher wrote today.
“We also see an unfulfilled market need with respect to premium feature film and TV content, and very favorable environmental factors…. including extensive broadband penetration, smart phone and other internet-connected device ubiquity, and strong consumer interest.”
However Hulu wasn’t prepared to discuss any potential plans for Australia, with a spokesperson refusing to comment on other international expansion plans.
“We are not commenting on international expansion beyond our blog post today about Japan,” a spokesperson for the company said today.
Some say there’s little need for a Hulu-style service in Australia, with all the major free-to-air television stations now providing their own catch-up TV portals online. One example, the ABC’s iView site, has seen tremendous growth in the past few months.
However speculation has continued to persist in Australia about the service’s local presence, with the latest rumour suggesting a local launch isn’t imminent but is definitely “on the cards.”
Previously the company has said that Australia is in its list of the top 10 countries it’d like to open in.
Hulu LLC also owns the hulu.com.au domain, and earlier in the year lodged a trademark application for the Hulu brand name.