Web giant plans to offer subscription service later this year

Hulu has settled on Japan as its first international expansion market.

The Web streaming service said Wednesday that it will launch a subscription service in the country later this year. Hulu offered few other details in the blog post by Johannes Larcher, Hulu’s senior veep of international.

In the post, Larcher said Hulu sees Japan as a ripe market for a premium video service because of the high penetration of broadband, smartphones and other video-friendly mobile devices. It’s also a big territory not yet served by Netflix, Hulu’s main competitor in the U.S.

What content Hulu’s Japanese service would offer is not yet clear. Digital rights to some of the shows provided by its parent companies — News Corp., NBCUniversal and Disney — may be encumbered in the market through pre-existing deals.

Hulu said it is actively looking at other international markets for launches. The expansion push comes as the company has put itself up for sale.

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