Skip to main content

Japanese telecom SoftBank will sell Netflix directly from devices at launch

Netflix gets the upper hand in Japan from telecom giant SoftBank

new on netflix
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When Netflix launches in Japan on September 2, it’ll have some major help from cell phone and internet giant SoftBank. Today, the video streamer announced a new partnership which will allow SoftBank’s 37 million cell phone customers to pay Netflix’s monthly fee directly through their SoftBank account in-store, online, or through major electronics retailers. The telecom giant will also begin pre-installing the Netflix app on its smartphones next month.

“Now, we have a shared dream to work together, SoftBank and Netflix, to find those amazing stories around the world, create new incredible experiences and deliver them to consumers around the globe and here in Japan,” said Netflix exec Greg Peters to the Japan Times.

The popular video streamer announced three monthly subscription options for Japanese customers: a standard definition, single stream “basic plan”  for 650 JPY (~$5.49), an HD “standard plan” for 950 JPY (~$8.02), and a 4K UHD four stream “premium” family plan for 1450 JPY (~$12.24).

Netflix’s launch in Japan comes as the streaming giant aims to reach “200 countries” by the end of next year. The streamer currently operates in 50 countries, according to Fortune, has tallied 65 million customers globally, and could reach 100 million subscribers by 2020. Japanese subscription video streaming competitors include Hulu (which has 1 million Japanese subscribers) as well as services from NTT Domoco, and SoftBank’s own Uula. SoftBank will be focusing its efforts on Netflix going forward, according to the Japan Times.

Netflix may also consider a content partnership with SoftBank in Japan, although it has already inked an original content deal with Fuji Television. According to Deadline, Fuji has a new version of reality series Terrace House and a “coming-of-age drama” Atelier (Underwear) planned to premiere on Netflix Japan at launch.

Editors' Recommendations

Chris Leo Palermino
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Chris Leo Palermino is a music, tech, business, and culture journalist based between New York and Boston. He also contributes…
Disney bans Netflix, Amazon vanishes from Apple: Welcome to the streaming wars
How to download movies and TV shows from Apple TV+ for offline viewing

Hold on to your butts. The streaming wars are just getting started.

In what appears to be a sign of things to come, Apple and Disney seemingly fired shots across the bows of two of their biggest streaming competitors, Amazon and Netflix. And signs point to this being just the first of many moves all four companies are going to make in the quest to attract subscribers to their respective streaming services.

Read more
SoftBank’s solar-powered drone could dispense 5G internet from the skies
softbank 5d internet drone helios prototype flying wing

NASA and AeroVironment's high-altitude drone, Helios Prototype. NASA

An experimental, solar-powered drone capable of beaming internet down to Earth is set to take off. The drone, called the Hawk 30, is the product of a tightlipped partnership between Softbank and AeroVironment, an American aerospace company. The joint venture is aimed at delivering 5G and Internet of Things connectivity from the skies.

Read more
This 75-inch QLED 4K TV is discounted to $700 until tomorrow
2023 TCL Q6 4K QLED TV.

If you're quick today, you can buy a TCL 75-inch Q6 QLED TV for $700 at Best Buy meaning you save $200 off the regular price of $900. One of the best TV deals around, it's one of Best Buy's deals of the day so you really do only have a matter of hours to take advantage of it. If it sounds like the one for you, keep reading while we quickly take you through everything it has to offer.

Why you should buy the TCL 75-inch Q6 QLED TV
With TCL being one of the best TV brands, particularly when it comes to QLED technology, the TCL 75-inch Q6 QLED TV is an easy recommendation to make at this price. There's quantum dot technology so you get a billion colors forming richer and more lifelike imagery. Alongside that, TCL has added a high-brightness direct LED backlight to further help with bright images.

Read more