Amazon's Instant Video streaming service has arrived in Japan, letting local customers purchase or rent from a selection of 26,000 movies and TV shows. Roughly 15,000 of those are available in HD, according to The Hollywood Reporter. With the expansion, Amazon joins both local competitors and US-based rivals Hulu, Apple, and Google in the Japanese market, though some incredibly popular US services like Netflix still have no presence in the country.
Rentals start at 100 yen (roughly $0.98 USD) for 24 hours, though that mostly covers older films like Good Will Hunting and Michael Jackson's This Is It. Newer hits like Monsters University are priced higher; renting the Pixar movie is $5, while purchasing it outright costs $25. Amazon's initial content partners include Shochiku Co. and Toho Co. and local broadcasters NHK and Fuji TV. The Instant Video launch comes just as Amazon's Kindle HDX also arrives in Japan. To celebrate the launch of Instant Video, Amazon is bundling a 2,000 yen coupon with its latest tablet to entice customers into trying out the service. Amazon is promising that one customer will also walk away with a 100,000 yen coupon.