Amazon Prime Video, Not Netflix, Tops Japan Video Streaming Market

Amazon Prime Video leads the subscription VOD market in Japan with 26% of video streaming minutes and more than 15 million monthly active users, according to new data from Media Partners Asia. That bests perennial market leader Netflix, which has 10% of video streaming minutes and 6 million subscribers. Hulu Japan, which is owned by Nippon TV, has three million subs.

Amazon first entered the Japanese market in 2000 selling books online. The e-commerce segment has helped drive Prime Video awareness since its arrival in 2016 — a year after Netflix entered the market.

Interestingly, about 25% of Netflix consumer consumption is driven by Korean dramas, while U.S. content drives 15%. Netflix’s original programming drive 10% of platform viewership.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The MPA data, which covers the time period from January to August, found that 44 million Japanese subscribed to a SVOD service during that time.

Notably, Netflix trailed two other Japanese streaming services. TVer is a TV consortium that streams local dramas, variety, news and sports. TVer captured 16% of the video streaming market, while ad-supported VOD platform AbemaTV had 11% market share. The platform, co-owned by CyberAgent and TV Asahi, is driven by sports, including Major League Baseball, original dramas, local content and live events.

“The premium video segment in Japan is increasingly competitive,” Vivek Couto, executive director at MPA, said in a statement. “Local content is critical, as illustrated by broadcast TV-consortium owned TVer’s growth over 2020-21, while Prime Video and Netflix’s licensed anime libraries have contributed over 40% of consumption on the platforms during 2021. More competition and category expansion is imminent as Disney+ expands with Star and local content in October.”

Hulu Japan, Fox Home Entertainment Partner for Russian Zombie Series

Hulu Japan, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Japan and Nippon TV have partnered to distribute Russian Zombie series “The Day After ” on streaming, DVD/Blu-ray Disc and broadcast television.

Twelve episodes of the first season of the 2013 series “Vyzhit Posle” begins streaming Oct. 5, with a packaged-media release by Fox slated for Oct. 6. The series, which is considered Russia’s version of “The Walking Dead,” will be broadcast in Japan beginning Nov. 10.

The series story arc involves a drug company, attempting to create a perfect human race, releases a virus which proves to be deadly. People are dying by the thousands, but 11 young adults who wake up in a building basement with no memory of how they got there, find themselves responsible for determining the future of all mankind.

“We are thrilled to introduce our first acquisition of a Russian series to the audience in Japan,” Kazufumi Nagasawa, chief content officer at Hulu Japan, said in a statement. “We believe ‘The Day After’ has a huge potential in Japan given the popularity of ‘The Walking Dead’ and other zombie dramas here.”

Considered the second-largest home entertainment market globally (IHS Markit), Japan has slowly embraced SVOD. Hulu Japan, which was acquired from Hulu in United States by Nippon TV in 2014, has the second-largest market share in Japan, according to research firm GEM Partners.

Vyacheslav Murugov, CEO of CTC Media, which created the series, said the distribution deal helps establish Russia as a content creator.

“Our global ambitions are to create interesting TV content for people all over the world and to promote Russia as the country where content is born.This event is a huge and important step in our journey,” Murugov said.