Nikkatsu, one of Japan's oldest film studios, has announced that it willoffer films from its vast library as video-on-demand content through parent companyIndex Corp's "Miranca" VoD and IPTV service.

The first 23 titles goonline today (Oct 16) and include classic films starring some of Japan's mostenduring cinema icons, including the late Yujiro Ishihara (brother of TokyoGovernor Shintaro Ishihara) and Sayuri Yoshinaga. More recent titles such asKiyoshi Kurosawa's Charisma are alsopart of the initial slate.

Each VoD title costs Y315($2.64) and can be viewed at the subscriber's convenience. Nikkatsu is aimingto offer 80 titles by next spring and hopes to target the relatively untappedover-40 demographic with the classics.

The company is aiming to achievefirst-year sales of more than Y100m ($836,000) and is also considering licensingcontents to third-party VoD services.

Miranca also offers severalIPTV channels that stream content continuously, offering music videos, anime,TV programmes and movies. Certain film titles such as Underworld: Evolution, Spider-Man,and Stand By Me, are also offered ashigh-resolution downloads at prices ranging from Y1480 to Y3990.

Miranca has also startedproducing original digital movie features that are available online and alsoreceive limited theatrical runs at digital projection theatres.