Hulu Plus is trying something new to lure new customers in Japan—on February 19 they’ll be streaming an upcoming Japanese movie, Sougen no Isu (A Chair on the Plains), before its theatrical release on February 23.
However, there are a couple of caveats—the movie will only be available for three hours, between the hours of 9pm and midnight, and it will only be available for the first 1,000 customers that click to play.
This is the first time that Hulu Japan has done a promotion like this and, while Hulu has streamed previews of television shows in the United States before they aired on TV, they have never run a promotion to preview movies before the release date in the US.
Streaming previews of movies before they are released is a win-win situation for Hulu, as well as for the studios—it entices viewers to sign up for the Hulu Plus service, as well as helps build a buzz around the upcoming theatrical release. It will be interesting to see how the experiment works out in Japan and whether or not this is something we’ll start seeing stateside.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.