The company, which has previously sold electronic books and music will offer a selection of local and foreign films which can be either rented or purchased outright. Customers can then download these films directly on their personal computers or on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.
The service starts with some 26,000 available titles. Companies committed to supply titles for the Japan market include local majors Toho and Shochiku and broadcasters NHK, Fuji Television Network, Tokyo Broadcasting Systems and Asahi Television.
According to Variety, rentals will start as low as JPY100 (approx. U$1) for 24 hour usage of older titles, with downloads to own reaching JPY1,000 ($10). Those prices are considerably lower than the cost of new release films on DVD, which are often priced over $30 apiece in Japan. The country still has a viable DVD market, though prices and volumes are declining.
Do people still rent or buy DVD nowadays? With the rampant illegal downloads, usually people just go to torrent sites and download the movie titles to get their movie fix.
Other existing platforms where Japan customers can rent or buy movie titles online includes iTunes and Hulu Japan.