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Vice Media and Hulu Japan have signed an agreement covering licensing of content and co-productions, the companies announced Thursday.
The deal will bring 250 hours of Vice content, including programs from Viceland, Vice News, food channel Munchies and music channel Noisey, to Hulu Japan this year. There are also plans for original anime and drama co-productions, though no details of these were announced yet.
“We are really looking forward to announcing upcoming projects through deeper collaboration with Vice shortly,” said Hulu Japan content chief Kazufumi Nagasawa.
“Offering more Vice content to an expanding Japanese audience is a key part of our continued growth across Asia, and an ongoing commitment to bring original, culturally relevant content to as many young viewers as we can, wherever they are, and whatever the screen,” said Hosi Simon, Vice CEO Asia Pacific.
The licensing deal covers shows including Ellen Page’s Gaycation travel program and Michael K. Williams’ crime series Black Market.
Hulu Japan, which was bought by major terrestrial network Nippon TV in April 2014 after the streaming service had struggled to build an audience following its launch in 2011, now has nearly 1.8 million subscribers.
The Japanese streaming market is still relatively small, though increasingly competitive. Netflix — which doesn’t release subscriber numbers — has been pouring money into original Japanese content, including anime and the popular Terrace House reality show, which also have significant audiences overseas.
Vice has been producing Japanese content, covering topics including yakuza gangsters, cannabis, bikers, tattoos, host clubs and ultra-nationalists, for more than five years.
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