Japan Today

Hulu Japan to give all customers 1,000-yen apology for recent problems

By SoraNews24

In April of this year, video streaming service Hulu was placed in the care of subsidiary HJ Holdings to handle operations in Japan. Despite this, it was more or less business as usual for the brand for a few months: they changed their URL from hulu.jp to the quirky happyon.jp, but that was about it.

However, a larger change came on May 17 in the form of a major overhaul of their apps. In some cases an entirely new app needed to be downloaded and installed on certain devices. Really it was a minor inconvenience, but also only the tip of the iceberg for what was to come.

Right away complaints were lodged with the new service. Many complained of “videos stopping halfway through,” or “severe lagging,” while some found that their older generation Chromecast or FireTV Sticks were no longer compatible.

What stuck in most customers’ craws was the inclusion of High-bandwidth Digital Content Prodection (HDCP). While designed to prevent unauthorized copying or viewing of downloaded video, it also has the nasty side-effect of screwing over unfortunate souls whose televisions, game consoles, or other devices weren’t equipped with HDCP to begin with, thus making Hulu completely unusable.

Obviously not blind to the feedback, Hulu has now announced that they will give all customers – even those who only signed up for the free trial or those who have quit the service – one month of free service valued at 1,007 yen.

Of course for those who have quit because they are unable to use Hulu any more, one month of free service may not sound like much compensation. So Hulu will also offer a roughly equivalent 1,000 yen Amazon Gift Certificate or iTunes Code.

Again this applies to everyone who was receiving Hulu service in Japan between 12:01 am on May 17 and 11:59 on May 31, regardless of whether they have quit or were only a free trial member during this time.

Hulu says they will contact those who have canceled their subscriptions in mid-June with news and information about the compensation. Everyone else may need to register their account email on a special page that will be set up in mid-July to be eligible for it. Updated information will be posted on Hulu’s website and social media pages and also sent to registered emails.

The payments are expected to be made in early August.

Hulu certainly can’t be accused of going overboard in their reaction given the recent appearance of Netflix on Japan’s cyber shores, but how much of the damage this will undo remains to be seen. Comments on the matter seem less than optimistic.

“I guess they must have had a lot of cancellations… myself included.”

“Unless the fundamental problems have been resolved, I don’t think a free month will fix anything.”

“All they had to do was transition the servers gradually rather than all at once.”

“Is this the end for Hulu? I support efforts to protect rights holders, but it’s useless if it isn’t managed properly.”

Sources: AV Watch, My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Hulu Japan offers not just movies, but a little education and awesome customer service too

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-- New app allows commuters to share info on train delays through Twitter

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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TThis service went downhill quick , canceled years ago because of them dropping support for devices and the programming was crap.

Netflix Japan is 100 times better

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow. The adoption of streaming services are already more than a decade behind in Japan. I surveyed 75 university students recently and only 2 stream tv or movies. Hulu, while barely having a foothold in Japan, is one of the largest services in Japan. This is certainly a step backwards for a system that is already 10 years behind the western world in terms of overall adoption (for comparison in the USA Netflix has more subscribers than all of Comcast cable). Why Japanese people love driving to GEO/Tsutaya, buying a 5000 yen DVD, on top of paying 4 or 5,000 yen for cable TV instead of endless streaming for just a few yennies is beyond me. Who am I to judge a country that still has millions of land lines and is single handed keeping the fax machine businesses afloat. Stay weird Japan, thats why I you!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hulu is like Yahoo in Japan, people stopped using it ages ago (at least for the most part), but it is still clung to here. The nail in The coffin for Hulu was dropping most of the good content for crap Japanese programming. Netflix has much better balance, as does even Amazon Prime.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I subscribed to Hulu for about a year or so before cancelling it, the program selection was pretty lousy, 1 or 2 big name blockbusters and the entire "Steven Segal Straight-to-Video" catalogue and that was more or less it (i exaggerate but only a bit). Maybe the Japanese programming was better? An added slap in the face was that a lot of English language movies were only available dubbed into Japanese which just seemed gratuitous.

Now subscribed to Netflix and like it way better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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