Product Owner - Search & Recommendation

  • Tokyo
  • Remote OK
  • Full-time
  • January 19, 2024
8,040,000 - 12,000,000 JPY /yr
Apply from Anywhere 👍
Relocation to Japan 👍
(Overseas visa sponsorship supported)
Language Requirements
Japanese: Fluent
English: Business Level

About this job

Develop the content discovery functions of our video delivery and e-book platform "U-NEXT". We are looking for a product owner who will be responsible for the development of new features.

The U-NEXT platform offers more than 160,000 videos and 420,000 books. This is the kind of content that users "want to watch and read right now", carefully curated from a large body of work.

From our unique directory type content classification method (which is not often used on overseas) to our search function and recommendation engine, we've developed lots of technology to support our service. We've been able to provide some great features, but we need someone to help us take our tech to the next level and enable our users to discover the content they want in the shortest amount of time. We are working to create a system to constantly improve to reach this goal.

The engineering side of the business is well-equipped, with excellent experience and skills and strong ambition. We are looking for a Product Owner. This position requires business level Japanese and English skills (someone who can also speak Chinese would also be welcome).

Job Description

  • As a product owner you'll be responsible for the design and development of content discovery features, bridging the gap between business, creative and technology.
    • At the heart of our content discovery system is search and recommendation. However, the scope of liability is not limited to just these.
    • Product Owner is a role in agile development through Scrum. You should be able to identify the long term vision for U-NEXT's content discovery system and improve existing features in the short term, helping the development team.
    • Specifically, you should be able to clearly define the product backlog, communicate the product backlog to everyone and define the next steps for the Scrum team to take. You must also make sure the development team understands the product backlog items at the required level.
    • The more commonly used job titles tend to be "project manager" but our product owner role is fundamentally different from a "product manager".
    • The relationship of a product manager with their development team is flat. There is no hierarchy between the two.

Required Experience and Skills

Experience in at least one of the below

  • Experience in designing search engines
  • Experience in designing recommendation engines
  • One year of experience working as a product manager/product owner (or equivalent) for a consumer product with 100,000+ active users
  • Other experience deeply involvng the design of item discovery-related features

Skills and qualifications

  • Master's or doctorate degree in a science discipline that requires publication of a peer-reviewed paper as a requirement for graduation.
    • Computer science is desirable, but other fields such as statistics, chemistry and life sciences are also welcome
  • Workability in Japanese (JLPT N1 or higher is the standard. If you can prove your ability, you don't need to have a qualification).
  • English work skills (TOEFL iBT 90 or higher is the standard. You don't have to hold a qualification if you can prove your ability).

Our Ideal Candidate

  • Strong hypothesis testing and problem solving skills.
    • Ability to first hypothesize, act upon, and then test
    • Experience in solving problems in the business arena
  • A healthy respect for all aspects of technology, creativity and business
  • Ability to have both macro and micro perspectives and use them as needed
  • Multilingual language skills (Japanese + English + Chinese, etc.)

Corporate Blog







  • コンテンツ発見機能の設計開発に責任を持つプロダクトオーナーとしてビジネス・クリエイティブ・テクノロジーの橋渡しをしていただきます。
    • コンテンツ発見機能(アイテムディスカバリー機能)の中心には検索・レコメンドがありますが、責任範囲はこれらに限りません。
    • プロダクトオーナーはスクラムによるアジャイル開発における役割です。コンテンツ発見機能が実現すべき長期ビジョンを明らかにし、短期的には既存の機能改善を実現するよう開発チームを手助けします。
    • 具体的には「プロダクトバックログを明確に定義する」「プロダクトバックログを全員に見える化・透明化・明確化し、スクラムチームが次に行う作業を定義する。」「必要とされるレベルでプロダクトバックログアイテムを開発チームに理解してもらう。」といったことを期待しています。
    • より一般に職種として用いられる傾向にある「プロジェクトマネージャー」「プロダクトマネージャー」とは本質的に異なります。
    • 開発チームとの関係性は並列です。上でも下でもありません。



  • 検索エンジンを設計をした経験
  • レコメンドエンジンを設計した経験
  • アクティブユーザー数が10万以上のコンシューマー向けプロダクトのプロダクトマネージャー・プロダクトオーナー(あるいは相当する職責)として1年以上働いた経験
  • その他、アイテムディスカバリー関連機能の設計に深く関与した経験


  • 卒業条件として査読付き論文の出版が求められる理系学問の修士号もしくは博士号
    • コンピューターサイエンス系は当然望ましいが、例えば統計学・化学・生命科学など他分野も歓迎
  • 日本語の仕事能力(JLPT N1以上が目安。能力を証明できれば資格を保持している必要はない。)
  • 英語の仕事能力(TOEFL iBT 90以上が目安。能力を証明できれば資格を保持している必要はない。)


  • 高い仮説検証能力と課題解決能力を持つ
    • 最初に仮説を立て、行動し、その後検証する行動特性
    • ビジネスの舞台で課題解決を積み重ねた経験
  • テクノロジー・クリエイティブ・ビジネス全方位に対する健全なリスペクトを持つ
  • マクロ視点とミクロ視点の双方を持ち、必要に応じて使い分けることができる
  • マルチリンガルな語学能力(日本語+英語+中国語、など)


U-NEXT is a streaming service and digital content platform that offers movies, TV, anime, manga, music, and virtually every kind of digital content. Occupying the third-largest market share after Netflix and Amazon in Japan, it distinguishes itself as the biggest domestic representative. Entertaining its subscribers with an extensive product line-up unmatched by any of its competitors, U-NEXT offers a variety of Japan-focused content like drama series from Japan and other Asian countries that cannot be found anywhere else.

U-NEXT's business is focused heavily on technology: Their goal is to hire the best people to build their product (regardless of nationality), and they have managed to assemble a world-class engineering team in their Tokyo office. Their CEO himself has stated that "understanding and investing in technology" is of the utmost importance to the company. U-NEXT's leadership and members are highly diverse, with members from many different countries practicing agile development and maintaining a culture inspired by Silicon Valley tech companies.

U-NEXT's work style is also among the most flexible and progressive for Japanese tech companies. In addition to full flex time (no core hours) and remote work (even before COVID-19), they provide several great benefits designed to keep their employees as happy as possible.

As of November 2022, U-NEXT's work situation and hiring policies are as follows:

1. Work Arrangements:
  • Employees can choose between office-based work, remote work, or a hybrid model based on departmental preferences.
  • More than 80% of departments operate with remote work as the primary mode. They follow a work style that involves coming to the office as needed.
  • Some specific departments adhere to the policy of office-based work as a general rule.

2. Employment Screening:
  • Online interviews conducted through Google Meet are given priority in the hiring selection process.
View U-NEXT's company page

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Product Owner - Search & Recommendation at U-NEXT
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