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Hulu Expands to Japan; Expansion Planned for Later This Year

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Hulu is expanding internationally. While moving to Canada, the United Kingdom, or South America might feel like natural first steps, Hulu is bringing its premium video service to Japan.

The news was just announced on the Hulu blog, where Johannes Larcher, Hulu's senior vice president of international, wrote that Hulu would launch a Japanese subscription service, bringing premium films and TV shows to PCs, TVs, mobile phones, and tablets in Japan.

The service will be available for a monthly subscription, but Larcher didn't specify what it would be. 

"We have to leave something to the imagination, right?" Larcher asked.

Larcher didn't mention a free service, suggesting that Hulu in Japan will be subscription-only. As for the reasons for choosing Japan for Hulu's first international expansion, he praised Japanese audiences for being passionate about premium content and noted that the country has a major entertainment industry.

Larcher also noted that Japan has an "unfulfilled market" for premium film and TV services. It looks like Hulu is deliberately avoiding markets where Netflix, its chief competitor in the United States, has already put down a flag. 

"We have opened offices in Tokyo, with a dedicated Japanese team designing and running the service, and are hard at work finalizing preparations for launch later this year," Larcher wrote.

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