Rakuten TV Launches Its First AVOD Service


Rakuten TV has unveiled its first AVOD channels within the platform, allowing viewers to watch a wide range of content for free.

The free section of Rakuten TV is set to launch with an initial offer that will include Hollywood and local content and will expand to feature exclusive Rakuten content, TV series, documentary series, news and sport channels in the coming months, with a combined linear and on-demand offer.

Matchday—Inside FC Barcelona, the new documentary series about FC Barcelona that is narrated by John Malkovich, will be among the exclusive content that Rakuten TV will present on its AVOD channel. The service will be available in beta version across the complete 2019 smart TV lineup and will be progressively rolled out in other platforms, including mobile and desktop. Rakuten’s instant messaging service Rakuten Viber will also be involved in the project, leveraging its community of 2 million Barça fans to promote Matchday. Nielsen will be the data partner used to target advertisements at a digital level. This news comes alongside a renewed platform design for Rakuten TV.

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, Rakuten’s marketing CEO, 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.”