Netflix Seeks More Local Content Before Autumn Debut in Japan

Netflix Inc. plans more alliances with Japanese content providers to lure users as the world’s biggest subscription online video service debuts in the country later this year.

The new tie ups would help the company offer more films, drama programs, documentaries and comedy, Greg Peters, president of Netflix Japan, said in an interview in Tokyo on Thursday. The company said June 17 its Japan service would start in autumn, featuring content from a tie-up with Fuji Media Holdings Inc.

Netflix operates its streaming service in 50 countries with more than 62 million subscribers, luring users with movies and its own productions, including “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” The company is coming to Japan after Hulu LLC entered the market in 2011 and eventually sold the local operations to Nippon Television Holdings Inc.

“Japan is the country where consumers recognize value and they pay quite bit for value, and it’s a great market for high-brand products and piracy is quite low,” said Peters. “I would expect that over a period of time we’ll do many such deals.”

The content partnerships Netflix is targeting in Japan don’t include sport or news, he said.

Under the deal with Fuji, Netflix will exclusively offer new episodes of the drama “Terrace House” and the “Underwear” series, it said in a statement on June 17.

Fuji-produced content will also be viewable by Netflix users outside Japan, according to the statement.