Back in early 2015, Netflix announced that they would be expanding their streaming service into Japan by the end of the year.
Today, Gizmodo.jp (you’ll have to translate the article) is reporting that Netflix has officially set a date for this to take place, with the service becoming available September 2nd.
It has been a major initiative of the company to expand globally, as the list of countries where Netflix is available continues to grow. But this type of global domina… err expansion takes time, as regional distribution rights for media content is extremely complicated. In other words, as shows and movies in one region might be easy to get access to stream, other countries have different rights holders meaning in order to have consistent streaming content, services must work out individual deals for each country.
Japan seems like a great next location for Netflix to offer its service, as Hulu’s only international region is currently Japan (they have their own plans to expand into more countries but no official announcements on the when and where yet). Competition between individual streaming services hasn’t been too aggressive yet, as many folks opt to subscribe to several individual services as part of their monthly entertainment budget.
While some folks in Japan already VPN into US or other regional Netflix accounts, having direct access to the platform is likely a huge improvement.