Subscribing to a Particular Paid Channel at Nico Nico Douga

For fans of any personality, we tend to go a very long way to show our support for our idols - even if it requires to spend some money. As for me, I don't mind spending (but of course not too much). But what if you are a fan - for example of an Idol from a different country - and you can't even find any other ways for you to show your support? Today, I'll be sharing my personal experience as I struggle upon subscribing to a particular paid channel at Nico Nico Douga.

This post is updated on 13 November 2019. See the end of this post for the update!

Before I proceed, I'll explain some of the terms that you guys might not be familiar with. Please do read everything starting from here because I'll be mentioning important things about the whole scenario.

Niconico/Nico Nico Douga is the 'YouTube' of Japan. It is a video sharing website that allows users to upload, view and share video clips. Aside from that, they can also host a channel for their members (this is where we will discuss everything). There are two kinds of membership here:
  • (1) Free membership which gives you some limits in viewing videos, etc;
  • (2) Premium membership which ¥540/month which gives you priorities especially at video streaming and can be paid thru payment methods which are only available in Japan. For foreign countries, it is also possible to pay for premium membership (thru WebMoney and PayPal).
Most of the people who know me personally are aware that I am a big fan of Daisuke Hirakawa (or fans and fellow voice actors call him as 'Hirarin'), a Japanese Voice Actor or 'Seiyuu.' Recently, he updated his blog that he will have a show titled "Hirakawanchi," a live-stream variety show. You can view his niconico live channel here.

The channel is paid for ¥540/month. But fans have a chance to watch Hirarin's show for free! Hirarin's channel is divided into 2 parts:
  • Part A (where non-premium users can watch the show) which airs for about 45 minutes;
  • Part B (premium/paid user channel viewers only) which airs for about 45 minutes as well.
For non-premium members (you need to make an account at Niconico), you can watch the Part A of his show (but first you need to be at least 30 minutes early to 'reserve' or casually enter the live stream channel itself) and unfortunately will be kicked-out when the channel is too crowded to give priority to the paid users. While premium members had a chance to watch the whole show with ease, without being kicked out.

Of course, who doesn't want to watch the whole show right? So here comes the problem: there's no other way for people who live outside Japan to be able to register for a premium account for a particular channel at Niconico.

How come?! I'll enumerate the things I've discovered, read online and other related matter thru this simple FAQs:

Q: What is the platform used for the live streaming channel you have mentioned?

A: Hirarin's channel was made possible via Nico Nico Douga. Niconico has been one of the platforms on which other users, live streamers (Japanese celebrities or not) are using.

Nico Nico Douga has live stream events too. But it is different from other paid channels which only using Nico Nico Douga as a platform.

Q: I am a premium Nico Nico Douga subscriber. Does it mean that I am also a premium member of Hirarin's channel?

A: NOPE. Even though you paid ¥540/month as a Nico Nico Douga subscriber, you still need to pay another ¥540/month to be able to subscribe to this paid channel.

Q: So does it mean, Nico Nico Douga's premium membership and Hirarin's channel premium membership are not the same?

A: YES. They are not the same.

Q: You mentioned that you can pay for premium membership thru WebMoney/PayPal. But why you said you can't register to Hirarin's channel?

A: Here's the thing - Nico Nico Douga's main website and Nico Nico Live channel by users are two different things. There might be live streamers that don't require payments to be able to subscribe to them. But mostly, you need to pay.

When you get a premium account at Niconico's main website, users outside Japan has the option to pay thru WebMoney and PayPal. Please do take note, though they accept VISA, MasterCard, and JBC as payment option, they will not accept it unless those cards are issued specifically at Japan.

Now let's get back to Hirarin's niconico live channel. For other paid nico channels, you will only have these options for payment.

No PayPal/WebMoney. And of course, they can't accept credit cards from outside Japan. No other options! **cries**

Q: I have a prepaid Japanese credit card. Is it possible to use it?

A: One of my online friends at Tumblr asked the Niconico team if it is possible. But the replied she got was: "Prepaid credit cards, both Japanese and non-Japanese are not supported." How bad was that? **sigh**

Q: So does it mean, there are no more options left?!

A: Of course there is. Here are some of the possible things that you can do (but surely needs some luck!)
  • If you have a Japanese friend/or friend/relative who lives in Japan, you are very lucky! If they happened to have a Japan-issued credit card, you can ask them a favor.
  • I have read at some forums that unless your cards are enrolled as Verified by VISA or MasterCard SecureCode, you have a chance to be able to subscribe. Some are successfully subscribed to their idols' channels while some are not. I wasn't able to try this out since I am using a prepaid credit card (PayMaya) which is also connected to my PayPal account.
  • BUT - (I sent a message to Nico Nico Douga about this issue and) for now, it is not possible to be able to subscribe to this paid nico channels unless you live in Japan. Too bad! **sobs**
So there. I guess I'll just stick as a free-member and watch the first 30 minutes of his show. And if the luck strikes and there's an individual who can share the whole show online, I guess I just need to wait for it.


As of 13 NOVEMBER 2019, NICONICO is now accepting PayPal as one of the payment options! (YAY!) Big thanks for Kinobles for letting us know about this. I immediately checked Takuya Sato's channel and ta-da!

Here is the payment options screen. Finally! :D


  1. I have the very same problem as yours :'(
    Did you manage to subscribe it?

  2. Hello ! I was investigating about this, because I have a premium membership in NicoNico and the good thing is that you can do timeshift and watch the premium content of live broadcast, however, today I tried registering to a specific channel and I encountered this problem :'( my Latin american credit card was rejected.. so there is no other way.. T___T I will continue investigating.. this cannot be.. i wanna join a channel :(

  3. Hello! Please let me know if you find out something about this. It will be a big help! :)

  4. Hi, I was searching about ways to subscribe to NicoNico paid channel. So did you manage to suscribe to any NicoNico paid channel?

    For me, I tried all the cards I owned but to no avail :( One of the cards was used to purchase Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea's tickets (which the site mentioned not accepting credit cards issued in foregin countries). Guess Nico Nico doesn't want my money...

  5. Hi! Can you elaborate your answer? :)

  6. Sorry it was a mistake just now. Edited my answer :)

  7. Thanks for this info! I do really hope that one day Nico Nico will consider outside the country cards or webmoney (like PayPal or Mol) :(

  8. Can i use nico point for subscribe?

  9. Unfortunately: No! That would have made things way easier!

    "What are Nico Points?

    Nico Points can be used to purchase features such as viewing
    privileges for paid broadcasts and videos, Nico App items
    and so forth.

    1 point is equivalent to 1 yen and can be purchased with several
    payment options.

    * Nico Points are only available for purchase and use in
    Japan or internationally for special events and/or promotions."

  10. Hi there! Unfortunately not until now. :(
    I am still looking for some ways but I guess I won't be able to subscribe...

  11. Hello! You can try it and let us know if it works! ;___;

  12. I guess you'll have to try. If you do, please let us know about your results.

  13. Can I use jcb credit card from outside japan?