Viacom launches video sharing site Flux in Japan

MUMBAI: Viacom International Japan has launched the Flux video sharing site for broadband Internet users in Japan.

Flux is a free, advertiser-supported next-generation entertainment service that combines popular video from Viacom brands such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Bet - Black Entertainment Television, with music videos, Japanese animations, movie previews and content created by users themselves.

Japan’s 75 million Internet users can now watch pre-programmed channels on Flux and access video-on-demand from a vast library of diverse content. As Flux members, users can also create their own personal channels from the video library and watch channels created by other users.

MTV chairman and CEO Judy McGrath says, "Flux revolutionises the way audiences view and use video content - putting them in complete control. This innovative service significantly expands MTVN's digital media presence in Japan, enabling us to deliver our leading MTV, Nickelodeon and BET content to audiences in new ways. Through our global network we are uniquely positioned to share Flux innovations from Japan with more than 150 MTV digital media properties worldwide."

Viacom International Japan senior VP and GM digital media Tony Elison commented, “Flux presents an entirely new way of interacting with entertainment - it’s 21st century television on the Web. Placing the consumer at the center of the programming universe, Flux offers endless opportunities for Japanese users to access the content they love, discover new entertainment and share their experiences with others.”

In addition to video created by users, Flux features content including - Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants; MTV’s Europe Music Awards and Jackass and local MTV Japan productions including Trainsurfer and Tempura, among others. Clips range from 3-10 minutes in length.

Flux will continuously launch new programming to enrich the Japanese online entertainment landscape. Next month, Flux will bring content from Viacom-owned BET Networks to Japanese audiences, including excerpts from the 2006 BET Hip-Hop Awards.

Bet chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee says, "Our mission is to provide high-quality entertainment to consumers of Black culture on a global basis. The launch of Bet content on FLUX provides access to an enormous audience who has long displayed an appetite for hip hop culture. This partnership allows Bet a chance to reassert our global brand presence while super-serving this passionate audience like never before."

Also next month, the first co-production from Flux and MTV Japan called Nigoldeneye will debut simultaneously on both platforms. The docudrama series will follow Nigo, the creator behind the ‘A Bathing Ape’ fashion empire. Content produced exclusively for both Flux and MTV Japan will complement the online and on-air viewing experiences, encouraging audiences to migrate between platforms.

Flux also features more than 2,000 music videos - one of the largest selections online in Japan - licensed from local and international music companies such as Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Toshiba EMI. Artists featured on FLUX include international acts Madonna, Janet Jackson and Red Hot Chili Peppers, along with local acts. Additional licensing agreements with music companies will be announced soon.

Flux says that it provides this diverse and innovative video programming in a unique environment. The Flux video player displays contextually related clips during video playback, so that the user can easily watch more programming from sources he enjoys, without the need for a specific search. Flux also allows users to programme their own channels and share these channels with friends within a social network. Individual channels created can include anything ranging from self-made content, clips created by others, music videos, animations and more - building bridges between professional, independent, and amateur content providers. In this way, Flux says that it harnesses the power of technology and social networking to facilitate users’ discovery of new entertainment.

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