Japan's online video market is expected to grow significantly starting the second half of 2015 when Netflix begins to offer its services, NTT DoCoMo launches its dTV Terminal program and the local top-five cable TV operators start offering free online video services, according to Digitimes Research.
Wireless TV operators Nippon, Asahi, Tokyo, Fuji and TBS have been offering quality TV programs free of charge, making it difficult for cable TV operators to promote online paid video services.
The portion of consumers in Japan who have not subscribed to paid TV for over a year reached 60% in 2014 compared to 1% in the US, according data compiled by Deliotte. Additionally, the number of subscribers who stream video accounts for only 4% of total paid video service subscribers in Japan.
However, streaming video is gaining momentum in Japan, with most wireless TV operators to begin to offering online video services free of charge for the first seven days starting October.
NTT DoCoMo currently has a total of 4.6 million subscribers to its online video service, dVideo. The vendor has recently changed the name of its online video service from dVideo to dTV and also supplied subscribers with OTT (over-the-top) STB devices for easy access to the program, Digitimes Research noted.