BBTV Next Is Japan’s Streaming Pay TV Service

SoftBank, Japan’s Internet and mobile giant, is set to launch its BBTV Next, a new pay TV service.

The service will let subscribers pick channels to watch on their computers, tablets and smartphones for the price of $9.15 (¥1,058) per month.

Softbank subsidiary TV Bank is providing this service, which can be watched live or on-demand. It is open to all smartphone users who are in Japan and not just SoftBank’s mobile division customers. BBTV Next lets subscribers start watching a show on one device and lets them continue watching it on another one.

Currently, there are 12 channels – two of which have been dedicated to movies. However, the company has planned to increase that number to 50 by the time spring 2015 rolls around. The additional channels are set to include imported drama and sports material.

Japan has seen a significant number of platforms being created in the Internet streaming and VOD market. In February 2014, Hulu removed itself out of the market when the company sold Nippon TV its local operations. Still, several players still dominate the cable TV industry, offering bundles of channels (by the dozens) along with optional extras.

BBTV Next subscribers can pick bundles of three channels, which hope to garner the attention of customers who pay for channels right now that they don’t watch.

SoftBank’s talks to purchase DreamWorks Animation dissolved, which led to its $250 million investment in Legendary Pictures. SoftBank looks to give the market much more content and recently obtained the DramaFever streaming platform.

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