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Exclusive: Viewster Inc. to Open Premium Video, Merchandise Service 'OMAKASE'

posted on by Karen Ressler
U.S.-based subsidiary plans HD video with simulcasts, more obscure titles

Viewster Inc., the worldwide video streaming service Viewster's new Los Angeles-based subsidiary, told ANN on Wednesday that it is launching a multi-faceted subscription service called OMAKASE.

Part of the service will be ad-free HD video, including both anime simulcasts and more obscure titles. Shows Viewster already streams will become available in HD for subscribers, while the new additions will usually also be available for free SD streaming with ads.

"In terms of video, we see a combination of 'never before released' and 'license rescue'—both have appeal if it's the right title," said Viewster Inc. CEO Rob Pereyda regarding video selection.

The service will also distribute a merchandise box once every two months, and will offer a third area of content the company has not yet revealed. The merchandise boxes will include items such as a gold-foil hardcover manga and a figure that the company worked with a partner to create.

The video service, as well as the third area of content, will be available on mobile apps. The company is also planning to offer video on devices such as Xbox 360 and Roku.

Viewster Inc. plans to launch OMAKASE in the fourth quarter of 2015. The company has not yet announced pricing for the service, but the billing cycle will be bimonthly, like the merchandise boxes.

The company will have a few hundred "beta" boxes available to win at its booth at Otakon this weekend.

The name "OMAKASE" is a Japanese word that means "trusting the decision to someone." The term is used in restaurants to describe a meal arranged by the chef.

Vewster's head office is in Zurich, Switzerland, but it also has a branch office in Germany. The company was founded in 2007. The free streaming site is supported by advertising and has more than 10,000 titles in its catalog across anime, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Viewster has offered simulcasts—such as Charlotte, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, and Plastic Memories—in North America as well as other countries and territories. Viewster exclusives include Sushi and Beyond, Vampire Holmes, Welcome to Irabu's Office, and NieA_7.

Viewster launched a new mobile app for iOS and Android in May.

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