Gong is launching the first video-on-demand (VOD) service in Europe to specialise in Japanese manga cartoons. The new portal will offer anime series and movies to the PC, mobile smart phones and iPods.
Gong was founded by Benoit Runel, former vice president of TF1, and André de Semlyen, who used to work for Turner Broadcasting.
The anime portal will be available in 30 European countries, with distribution contracts in place with a number of ISPs. In France, the service can be accessed through Club Internet and TF1-Vision, and in the UK via Download-to-Own from British Telecom and Orange. Viewers in Romania and Slovakia can also access via Orange. Also, a distribution deal with Joost is in place, probably the only one allowing access to the programmes for free as Joost is supported by advertising rather than subscriptions.