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Rakuten launches live video streaming service

Japanese VOD company Rakuten has launched a live video streaming service.

The service, called Rakuten LIVE, is primarily focused on allowing artists, celebrities and general users to live stream videos and communicate with viewers in real-time.

Also featured is a live commerce function, in which viewers can easily access sites to purchase products featured in streams.

Rakuten hopes that this will open up new avenues for artists, celebrities and other streamers to effectively promote products through the service. The service will offer an “exciting and diverse live commerce experience through collaborations with various e-commerce services” such as the Rakuten Ichiba online shopping mall, Rakuten Books and Rakuten Ticket, with future plans to include videos featuring merchants from Rakuten Ichiba.

The service will launch initially in Japan, though the company has not said if or when Rakuten Live will expand to other regions.