Vice Media, the youth-oriented broadcaster, and online streaming service Hulu Japan have signed a content licensing and co-production deal that will deliver 250 hours of original content to Japanese viewers.

Coming to Hulu Japan screens later this year will be programmes from a range of Vice outlets, including Viceland, Vice News, food channel Munchies and music channel Noisey.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the two companies also have plans for original anime and drama co-productions, although details of these have not been announced, as well as cross-promotion by Hulu Japan’s parent company, Nippon TV.

Since its takeover by Nippon TV in 2014, Hulu Japan, which had a rocky start after launching in 2011, has built up a user base of around 1.8 million subscribers.

Its partnership with Vice, which has been producing Japan-related content for more than five years, is expected to assist it in battle with Netflix, the US streaming service, which has invested heavily in original Japanese content.

And for Vice, the deal is expected to give it much greater access to young Japanese audiences while at the same time fitting into the company’s broader expansion plans for Asia.

“Offering more Vice content to an expanding Japanese audience is a key part of our continued growth across Asia, and an ongoing commitment to bring original, culturally relevant content to as many young viewers as we can, wherever they are, and whatever the screen,” said Hosi Simon, Vice CEO Asia Pacific.

Kazufumi Nagasawa, chief content officer at Hulu Japan, added: “We are thrilled to be able to introduce Vice's highly distinctive programme line-up to our users who, we believe, are the most discriminating group of viewers in Japan.

“We are really looking forward to announcing upcoming projects through deeper collaboration with Vice shortly.”

Sourced from Hollywood Reporter; additional content by WARC staff