As watching video content on mobile devices becomes more and more popular, countless businesses are trying to get in on the action and find a way to make it work for them. Japan’s Hulu (News - Alert) did just that by making it easier for mobile users to pay their bill. Now, Japanese Hulu users, who have their mobile service through NTT DoCoMo, will be able to make their payment through their phone.
According to Jay Alabaster of IDG News Service, this is particularly useful for Japanese customers, who often pay their mobile phone bills in cash at banks and convenience stores. For potential Hulu viewers who do not have a credit card, charging through mobile phone bills makes it possible to be a member. Before this decision, the only payment methods available were PayPal, credit card, and, for those who use the Apple (News - Alert) TV device to watch Hulu, iTunes accounts.
Image via www.hulu.com
It is evident that Hulu is making it an attractive option for customers to sign up, as they have also cut their prices in Japan by one-third, and their content does not feature advertising. Sam Byford of The Verge described the struggling content market in Japan in his November 15th column, “Japan’s Digital Content Struggles: The Country of the Future Remains Stuck in the Past”. In it, he predicted that Hulu would be a game changer for the Japanese digital content market.
Did Hulu make a mistake in choosing Japan as its second market to launch in? Perhaps. At the time of Byford’s article, company representatives maintained that they were still confident in their selection, but all of the changes that Hulu has made leads one to wonder whether things are really as optimistic as they are being portrayed, or if all of these changes belie a much more serious struggle.
Edited by Brooke Neuman