Event Report2016.04.22Netflix Japan President Greg Peters Aims to Share Japanese Content Everywhere

Netflix Japan may be showing its first original production at OIMF8, but Netflix Japan President Greg Peters told foreign journalists Friday that it is likely to be one of many to come.

Ten-part TV drama “HIBANA – Spark” was premiered Friday with its first 3 episodes shown at the festival. “It’s an extremely passionate story and it’s this question of why do people commit themselves to something that they love, despite all rational reasons why they shouldn’t. It gets really extreme, the level that these people will go to for this art they love,” Peters said.

Netflix wants Japanese contents to be released simultaneously worldwide to its network of 190 countries, and Peters says that there is no set limit – they will support productions so long as they feel it has potential. So, while he could not reveal specifics, other than that he is delighted with the work Netflix Japan is already doing with Yoshimoto, subscribers can expect to see 8-12 new offerings in the next year or so.

“We would like [the Japanese audience] to enjoy content at the same time that everyone else in the world gets to enjoy it, so no more waiting for weeks and months for a release. On the flip side we work with content creators here so that they can tell them, ideally at a quality level that isn’t supported just by the domestic market, and then we can connect them to the global audience.”

“Partly that’s distribution, but it’s more than that too,” he adds. “It’s about recommending to people, who might not think about watching a Japanese drama or anime, because they haven’t seen one before. We may feel they may like it if we put it on front them, and if they have confidence in our recommendation system, they may try it out and fall in love with a new genre that they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.”

During a wide ranging interview the Netflix Japan President, originally from San Francisco, explained that while he has been in Japan for only around 9 months, he has a long held appreciation for Japanese films and culture.

“The creativity that we see in Japan, mostly in manga, anime and smaller independent films, are made by true visionary creators that have room to do something interesting. You see it a little bit less so in the large scale productions here, but that’s what I think is exciting, to be able to define those creators and give them an opportunity to create at a bigger scale and find a bigger audience.”