Progressive pushes Internet broadcasting in Japan, US

Internet video pioneer Progressive Networks has announced that it has teamed with three Japanese partners in a venture that will provide Internet broadcasting services. The newly formed company, called J-Stream, is slated to begin marketing its services next month and will be followed by a similar venture in the U.S. by year's end

Internet video pioneer Progressive Networks has announced that it has teamed with three Japanese partners in a venture that will provide Internet broadcasting services.

The newly formed company, called J-Stream, is slated to begin marketing its services next month and will be followed by a similar venture in the U.S. by year's end, according to James Higa, president of Progressive's Japanese subsidiary.

Progressive's partners in J-Stream include international carrier Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co. (KDD), Internet service providor NTT PC Communications, and systems integrator Trans Cosmos Inc. Capitalization of the company was not disclosed. Each investor holds a roughly equal stake, officials said.

The company expects revenues of 150 million yen (US$1.3 million) in its first year of operation, officials said.

J-Stream plans to set up a nationwide network in Japan that will broadcast audio and video content using Progressive's Real Audio and Real Video technologies, officials said.

The company will offer private Internet broadcast channels for a monthly rate beginning at 1.3 million yen, plus a 200,000 yen startup fee, in addition to hosting and consulting services, officials said.

NTT PC Communications will provide the domestic points of presence, while KDD will contribute the international Internet gateway, along with equipment, the officials said.

Working with local content providers, J-Stream will send 10,000 broadcast channels - and eventually more - out to Internet users throughout Japan. The company expects to support broadcasts of live events in addition to corporate content.

Progressive is now planning a similar service in the U.S. that it will announce within the year. The company expects to find more than five partners for the U.S. venture, according to Higa.

J-Stream, to be based in Tokyo, can be reached from June 25 onward, on the World Wide Web at http://www.j-stream.trans.or.jp/.

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