Reporting on Hulu's moves is like watching a tennis match: if you look away for even a moment you don't know where the ball is. In a blog post this week, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced that the company had sold its Japanese brand to broadcaster Nippon Television Network. The details of the sale have not been disclosed.
The decision comes as the service's successes reach their heights. With 50 content partners and over 13,000 titles supported on 90 million devices, why would Hulu decide to exit the Japanese market officially? Hopkins attributes the sale to a growth rate that leaves a transfer of ownership as the best course of action.
Luckily for Japanese customers, the service is not going to be rebranded or changed in any significant way, at least not right away.
Hulu will be licensing our brand and technology and will continue to provide services to the Japan business-loyal fans of the service will enjoy the same seamless user experience and product innovation they have come to love. Thank you to the Hulu team members in Japan, and managing director Buddy Marini, for all of your hard work and contributions. Nippon TV recognizes the talented Hulu team we have on the ground in Japan, and I look forward to seeing you keep up the good work.
If Hulu's reasons for exiting the daily operations in Japan are true, then it would make sense for the service to go to the largest broadcaster in the country. Here, the service is owned and operated by 3 of the 4 major broadcasters, which gives the service easy access to content that people want to watch. With this transfer of ownership, Hulu Japan will be gaining access to content from the largest broadcaster in its country. Hopefully, in the end, this will be a benefit for Hulu Japan's customers.