Netflix to Launch in Japan This Fall

Netflix
Netflix series 'House of Cards' is already available in Japan

The online video platform is set to enter the crowded Japanese VOD market.

Internet video service Netflix is planning to launch in Japan in the fall, the company said Thursday.

Asia is the last major region where Netflix isn't represented, and there has been talk since last year that Japan would be the launchpad into the potentially massive market. A report from investment bank JP Morgan in January also suggested Japan would be Netflix's next play, with moves to Southern Europe and South Korea also in the works.

Netflix says it has plans to expand into 200 countries over the next two years.

Rival Hulu launched in Japan in 2011. Unable to carve out a niche for itself among the numerous local platforms, it sold its operations to Nippon TV in February 2014.

Japan's largest cable company, J:COM, has its own VOD platform, on which some Netflix content, such as House of Cards, is already available. Meanwhile, the major TV networks have their own services, along with joint ventures. There are also a number of local Internet-based platforms, but none has emerged as a clear leader in the sector.

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