Earlier today, Hulu announced intentions to launch its video streaming service in Japan by the end of 2011. Japanese users can visit hulu.jp to sign up for the service and get notified first at launch. Hulu’s video service in Japan will be available on computers, mobile devices, tablets, gaming platforms and televisions. Hulu is expected to launch Hulu Plus as well for an unnamed monthly fee. Hulu did not clarify the amount of content that would be available to Japanese audiences or the level of localization on the current library of videos. Hulu intends to announce these details closer to the product launch of Hulu in Japan and have opened up offices in Japan to design and optimize the service.
Based on the last financial forecast, Hulu is going to hit $500 million in revenues by the end of the year. The majority of that revenue comes from online advertisers while between fifteen to twenty percent are from subscriptions to Hulu Plus. The companies with the largest shared in Hulu, NBC Universal, News Corp, Providence Equity Partners and Walt Disney Company, have been approaching several online companies like Amazon and Apple in regards to selling the entire company. While the reasons behind the sale aren’t clear, the most common complaint from the networks is that Hulu eats up online advertising revenue from official network sites.
Hulu is also following Netflix’s lead in regards to branching out into original content. Hulu recently premiered a cyptic, physchological drama called The Booth At The End that comes from the Michael Eisner company Vuguru. In addition, Hulu has exclusive rights to Morgan Spurlock’s A Day in the Life. The Spurlock-produced show puts the Super Size Me star next to famous figures like Richard Branson for a period of 24 hours. Hulu has also been purchasing exclusive distribution rights to British shows like Misfits, a comedic drama that follows the lives of five juvenile delinquents with recently acquired super powers.