Internet giant Amazon has joined the Video on Demand (VOD) market in Japan, allowing consumers to rent or purchase both local and foreign movies that can be downloaded directly on their personal computers or on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. While video services like this still have not caught on in the country, it is an emerging market as the Japanese mobile market is one of the biggest in the world.
Amazon will also be launching the new Kindle HDX in Japan this week and it will come with a coupon for their “Instant Movie” service. There are already 26,000 titles available and included in these are movies and videos from major local distributors Toho and Shochiku, plus broadcasters like NHK, Fuji Television Network, Tokyo Broadcasting Systems and Asahi Television. These companies will be supplying more titles to the service as their partnership goes on. Among the initial offerings are the hit film “Thermae Romae” and one of the most popular TV series in Japan, Asahi’s “Doctor-X.” Rental costs starts at around $1 for 24-hour use of older titles while downloading it costs around $10.
The costs for the service is still relatively cheaper than buying newly-released DVDs which is around $30 in Japan. And while DVD sales in the U.S. have been falling steadily, there is still a good market for it locally in Japan. Other online video on demand services in the country launched as early as 2010, with iTunes Japan being the first, followed by Hulu Japan in 2011. Google, local video rental companies like GyaO and Tsutaya, plus the country’s largest cable provider JCOM have also launched their own online VOD services but have found the growth in the Japanese market to be too slow.
[ via Variety ]