Japan’s Yoshimoto Kogyo makes strategic investment in iflix

Japan’s Yoshimoto Kogyo is making a “significant strategic” investment in pan-regional streaming platform iflix, marking the production and talent management group’s first major investment outside of Japan. 

The two companies have also announced the formation of a Singapore-based joint venture to showcase Yoshimoto content across iflix’s territories in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, while Yoshimoto Kogyo will distribute content from iflix in Japan. 

Yoshimoto Kogyo content included in the deal will be localised for Asian markets and cover a wide range of film and TV genres, including animation, drama, comedy and variety programing. 

In 2014, Yoshimoto Kogyo launched joint venture company MCIP Holdings with five other Japanese partners, including Dentsu, Dwango and Sony Music, with the aim of expanding the market for Japanese content across the rest of Asia.

Yoshimoto Kogyo also announced in April 2018 that it is establishing the Okinawa Asia Entertainment Platform, which it describes as “an integrated national platform for distributing various types of content on the internet”. 

“This time, investing in significant media in Asia will be a big step for Yoshimoto Kogyo’s Asian strategy,” said Yoshimoto Kogyo vice president Hideaki Shimizu.

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.”