It took 28 months, but now it has happened. Japan’s answer of sorts to American video platform Hulu, a content-on-demand service called acTVila, has racked up one million subscribers [JP, PDF].
acTVila is surely benefiting from the sharp rise in popularity of Internet-enabled TV sets, which are required to used the video-on-demand service. Users can download movies or TV series and watch them directly on their TVs without going through a PC first.
But in contrast to Hulu, for example, the service also comprises news, games, weather information and a lot of additional content that acTVila users have access to. Even Japan’s No. 1 online shopping site Rakuten, has a slot on the top menu. The service is designed to be more like a web portal (instead of a mere video-on-demand service), only optimized for consumption on a TV.
What I found interesting in the press release linked to above is that acTVila says 90% of customers are male and that the average age of their customers is 40.1 years. The service is a joint venture between Sony, Matsushita, Sharp, Hitachi and Toshiba.
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