Yoshimoto Kogyo, Japan’s largest entertainment conglomerate, on Thursday announced a significant strategic investment in iflix, Southeast Asia’s leading entertainment service.
This is Yoshimoto Kogyo’s first investment in overseas media, the company said in a press release on Thursday, and it hopes that this will accelerate development for future projects in Asia.
The two companies also announced the formation of an exclusive joint-venture out of Singapore to showcase Yoshimoto Group’s most popular content across iflix’s territories in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and the corresponding distribution of iflix’s content in Japan.
The joint venture will also produce localised versions of proven content formats out of Japan, to significantly expand iflix’s original content offering.
The content to be provided to iflix will be popular Japanese programs that will be localised for Asian countries(animation, drama, movies, variety, and comedy, etc.), and in the future, it hopes to develop all-Japan original content including programs and films for an Asian market.
As an industry leader in localisation with unsurpassed subtitling and dubbing expertise and resources, iflix will diminish any language barriers to popular Yoshimoto programming, including anime, dramas, movies, variety and comedy-themed shows for audiences in Southeast Asia.
The joint venture underscores iflix’s growing focus on developing and creating highly-engaging hyper-local programming specifically for Millennial and Gen Z generations, the majority of which come from emerging and developing markets in Southeast Asia, and Yoshimoto Kogyo’s mandate to promote the export of Japanese content and formats to younger international audiences.
Yoshimoto Kogyo has been actively promoting Asian development for the last few years. In 2014, the company established MCIP Holdings in Indonesia as its base of Asian strategy and began the "Living in Asia Comedians" program. This program has Yoshimoto comedians living and working in 7 different countries in Asia. On April of 2018, it announced the establishment of the "Okinawa Asia Entertainment Platform," an integrated national platform for distributing various types of content on the Internet.
Hideaki Shimizu, Vice President of Yoshimoto Kogyo, said: “This time investing in significant media in Asia will be a big step for Yoshimoto Kogyo's Asian strategy.”
Mark Britt, iflix Co-Founder and Group CEO, added: “We have an incredible opportunity to deliver a uniquely localised product for iflix audiences based on proven Japanese comedy formats with mass appeal through this joint venture. Yoshimoto Kogyo has set the standard for popular, culture-defining millennial comedy content. We are thrilled to collaborate with them to experiment, explore and create new content to cater to a mobile-savvy, discerning global iflix audience.”