Sony launches web video service

Branco to operate like traditional TV service

TOKYO — Sony subsid Sony Marketing will launch a vid service for Internet users on March 31, the company said Monday.

Called branco, the service will offer free video content, including docus, dramas and toons, for subs to the broadband Internet services of NTT East and NTT West, the former telecoms covering Eastern and Western Japan. Users will need to download a special “branco player” app to view the content.

Branco will not be VOD. Instead, it will beam content over six channels on a fixed sked, like a regular broadcaster. The Amedora channel will be devoted to foreign dramas, Bandai Channel to toons, Discovery Channel to docus, VMC to music vids, Dramatic! Film to shorts, toons and feature pics, and Puchi TV to shorts, including toons and pop music vids.

A special “chat function” will enable users to share info and views.

Branco intends to increase both channels and content over time, while recouping costs with online ads, based on users’ preferences. The goal for the first year of operation is one million registered users.

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