The BBC continues to push out the profile of its news and feature content in Japan, unveiling a Japanese website with translated stories and video from BBC.com.
The move follows the launch of Japanese YouTube and Twitter accounts earlier in the year, as well as syndication deals for BBC World News shows with local video platforms, Hulu, owned by Nippon TV, and Yahoo Japan, a JV between SoftBank and Yahoo.
BBC.jp will be fully ad funded, the first time the BBC has used that commercial model for a non-English website.
The launch coincides with an ongoing commercialization of the broadcaster’s 28 local-language World Service properties, which are mainly funded by a license fee collected in the UK. By the end of the year, all these will accept advertising, sold through BBC Worldwide.
The BBC’s linear channel presence in Japan is limited to BBC World News, although it has two branded programming blocks in the market: BBC Earth on Wowow and CBeebies on Kids Station.
Global news rival CNN meanwhile has a long digital history in Japan, operating a local site for 15 years with one of the country’s biggest newspapers, Asahi Shimbun.