Hulu Now Live In Japan With Subscription-Only Service

In what marks its first expansion abroad, Hulu is now available in Japan. As expected, the video streaming service will offer both TV shows and movies across various devices for a subscription of about $20 a month (1,480 Yen).

Unlike in the U.S., where there are both free and premium versions, in Japan the service will be subscription-only. And it will cost more than twice as much as Hulu Plus does in the U.S (which is only $8 a month). Is Hulu charging so much because it thinks it can get away with a higher subscription fee in Japan or did it have to pay through the nose for international licensing rights and has no other choice?

Hulu will stream American shows in both English and Japanese from CBS, NBC, and ABC, as well as movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Armageddon, Men in Black, and Troy. Hulu plans to add Japanese-produced shows and moveis as well. (It is rather surprising they are not launching with any Japanese content partners, but those are supposedly coming).

Along with the launch, Hulu is also announcing an exclusive mobile partnership with NTT Docomo, the largest mobile carrier in Japan. The subscription covers viewing on smartphones and tablets, as well as computers, connected TVs, and through videogame consoles.