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Japanese Website sells American video

A major new Japanese venture is distributing American motion pictures and video programming via the Internet. Softbank, Japan’s second-largest provider of high-speed Internet services, and its affiliate, Yahoo Japan, is offering 100,000 movies and video clips on a Website.

The site, according to Bloomberg News, offers more than 30,000 video clips and links to 70,000 movie files on the Internet. Included are about 15,000 fee-based items and movies from Warner Brothers Entertainment.

Bloomberg said that cable television operators in Japan allow users to pay for and view individual movies and other content they select. The service, now in a trial phase and planned for a March launch, eventually expects to connect 40 million users of Yahoo Japan’s portal site to the new service.

The new service will likely increase pressure on Japanese broadcasters to change their business models to integrate the Internet in the broadband era.

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