Amazon Instant Video has launched in Japan, offering movies and TV shows from major Hollywood studios and local Japanese studios and networks, including Fuji Television Network, NHK, and Asahi Television.
The service, which launched Tuesday, is offering streaming, rental, and purchase options starting at $1. Amazon Japan is also streaming pilot episodes from select shows like “Glee” and Japanese drama “Hana Yori Dango.” There are 26,000 total titles available as of now.
Purchasing options on the new platform vary in price, with some titles like “Monsters University” being offered at $25. This is a slight decrease in price from the typical $30 ticket most DVDs sport in Japan.
With Amazon already established as a premiere online shopping platform in Japan, Instant Video will face off against Japanese cable networks, as well as Hulu, which launched in September 2011, and iTunes. Japan’s largest cable network, JCOM, also owns a VOD service, which offers streaming and download options.
There is no word yet as to whether Amazon Originals like “Betas” will be available on the service. However, it is difficult to imagine that Amazon would not bring original programming over to Japan given the company’s recent success with “Alpha House,” which ranked as the service’s top TV series this week.