Yoshimoto Kogyo invests in Asian streaming service iflix | Major Businesses | Business
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Japanese entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo has made an undisclosed but “significant” investment in Kuala Lumpur-based online video service iflix.

Yoshimoto Kogyo logo 8 April 2019The move is the first time Yoshimoto Kogyo has invested in a media company based outside Japan, and is part of a larger content initiative between the two companies.

A joint venture based in Singapore will see iflix distribute popular content by the Yoshimoto Group across its over-the-top (OTT) video platform across Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. In return, Youshimoto will distribute iflix content in Japan.

The joint venture will also produce localised versions of Japanese content formats, expanding iflix’s original content offering. In time, the initiative aims to develop Japanese original content, including programmes and films for a wider Asian market.

“We have an incredible opportunity to deliver a uniquely localized 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,” said Mark Britt, co-founder and group CEO, iflix.

iflix, established by Malaysia’s Catcha group, has already gained investment from UK broadcaster Sky, Liberty Global, and Hearst Entertainment.

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.”

In 2014, Yoshimoto Kogyo established MCIP Holdings in Indonesia as their strategic base for Asian development and began its ‘Living in Asia Comedians’ programme, whereby Yoshimoto comedians live and work in seven different countries in Asia. On April 2018, it also launched the Okinawa Asia Entertainment Platform, an integrated national platform for distributing various types of content on the Internet.