Japan entertainment firm Yoshimoto reaches into Asia, Middle East and Africa

Hideaki Shimizu(L), Vice President of Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., and Mark Britt, iflix co-founder and Group CEO, at a signing ceremony in Tokyo on April 8 to form a strategic capital alliance and joint venture. (Photo courtesy of Yoshimoto)

KUALA LUMPUR, NNA – Japan’s largest entertainment agency Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. is advancing into Asia, the Middle East and North and East Africa with Malaysian video streaming service iflix Sdn. Bhd.

Yoshimoto said last week it had invested an undisclosed sum in the entertainment platform iflix and that it would form a 50/50 joint venture with them in Singapore in May to distribute Yoshimoto content.

The Malaysian firm described Yoshimoto’s investment as strategic and significant.

A Yoshimoto spokesman in Tokyo declined comment on the amount of the investment but said it was Yoshimoto’s first in an overseas media company.

The Japanese firm will make use of viewer analysis data to distribute contents locally. The two companies will also collaborate to develop original content, Yoshimoto said.

The Malaysian firm was founded in 2015 and provides services in 22 countries and regions to more than 10 million users, according to its statement.

Yoshimoto manages some 6,000 comedians, actors and athletes and also runs vocational schools to nurture television talent. It said it will supply iflix with animation, drama, full-length movies and comedy that is localized for a variety of Asian tastes.

Yoshimoto established MCIP Holdings in Indonesia in 2014 as the base for promoting its program “Living in Asia Comedians" about Japanese comedians living and working in seven different countries in Asia.

It also has TV personality management firms in Taiwan and Thailand, according to its website.

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