Netflix launches in Japan, though it’s doing things a little differently there

netflix launches in japan though its doing things a little differently there 2015
Screenshot by Digital Trends / Netflix
With a solid Internet infrastructure and a population of 127 million, launching in Japan is a big deal for Netflix.

The video streaming giant rolled out its service in the Asian nation on Wednesday, offering subscribers a month’s free trial or the option to dive straight in with various packages.

The three options offered in Japan are the same as those in the U.S.: Basic costs 650 yen ($5.40) a month, Standard 950 yen ($7.90), and Premium 1,450 yen ($12).

Reports suggest Netflix is taking a slightly different approach in Japan in an effort to crack what can sometimes be a difficult market. The strategy involves offering a greater proportion of local TV shows and movies than subscribers receive in other countries.

Whereas the streaming company’s content usually consists of about 20 percent of local-made programming, in Japan this is being pushed to 40 percent. The decision appears to be based on current viewing trends in a country whose main channels generally see fewer foreign broadcasts compared to many other nations.

Despite offering more local content to Japanese viewers, Netflix is nevertheless thought to be planning a vigorous marketing campaign in a bid to spark interest in its own original shows as well as other major productions from the U.S. and beyond.

A quick scroll down Netflix’s main page for Japan clearly reveals its increased focus on local programming, though there is of course plenty of content from overseas, too.

netflix japan

Screenshot by Digital Trends / Netflix

Netflix rivals in Japan include the likes of local providers Tsutaya and Yahoo subsidiary GyaO, while Amazon is also set to launch its Prime Instant Video service in the country some time this month.

In an effort to get its new service off to the best possible start, California-based Netflix has done a deal with cell phone and Internet giant SoftBank offering easy ways for its 37 million mobile customers to pay Netflix subscription fees. The Japan-based company will also start pre-installing the video streaming app on its smartphones.

Japan is the latest launch for Netflix as it continues its seemingly unstoppable global expansion. Recent additions to its growing list of markets include France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

The company also has in its crosshairs Spain, Italy, Portugal and, of course, Japan’s neighbor, China.

Netflix currently operates in about 80 countries or regions around the world, though it says it’s aiming for a total of 200 within the next couple of years. The way things are going, few people are daring to question its bold ambition.

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.