The free section of Rakuten TV will launch with an initial offer including Hollywood and local content to be expanded to additionally include exclusive Rakuten content, TV series, documentary series, news and sport channels in the coming months – with a combined linear and on-demand offer.
Rakuten claims that it will be “the first to combine TVOD and AVOD products across Europe”. The service will be available in beta version, across the complete 2019 SMART TV line up, and will be progressively rolled out in other platforms including mobile and desktop.
The announcement came during a conference at MIPCOM 2019, alongside a redesigned platform for Rakuten TV, which offers a new look and improved user interface.
Jacinto Roca, Rakuten TV founder and CEO, said: “We are incredibly proud to take this step after having tripled our presence in Europe just a few months ago. Rakuten TV continues to evolve rapidly alongside consumer trends within the industry, where there is a clear trend of advertisers moving away from linear TV and towards VOD.
“This is a unique opportunity for Rakuten TV which has already direct access to millions of European households through its branded remote control button of the main Smart TV brands. This is the mere beginning of a huge project which will see the launch of additional channels and exclusive content in the coming months”.
Nick Stamos, CEO of Rakuten Marketing – which will handle ad sales – said: “Advertisers and agencies are eager to be among the first to showcase their brands in this exclusive and groundbreaking advertising platform. As VOD is emerging as a powerful media channel, our clients have been anticipating this launch from RakutenTV, so we are very excited to bring this new proposition to market across Europe.”