Rakuten TV launches free AVOD service in Europe

Free Rakuten channels for 30 million users

by Andy Bassett
Movies & TV News

9

Rakuten TV launches free AVOD service in Europe

Currently available in 42 countries, Rakuten TV now launches its free pan-European AVOD service offering everything from Hollywood to local content.

As a leading streaming platform, the addition of advertising supported video-on-demand (hence, AVOD) channels to their services means Rakuten can offer consumers a wide range of content for free, alongside their paid for content.

Announced at MIPCOM (the International Market of Communications Programmes) - the world’s largest entertainment content market that meets annually at Cannes - Rakuten founder and CEO, Jacinto Roca, explained that the free section of Rakuten TV will launch with an initial offering of Hollywood and local content before expanding to include TV series, documentary series, news and sport channels in the coming months, in a combined linear and on-demand offering.

The expanded AVOD content will feature some Rakuten exclusive channels including Matchday - Inside FC Barcelona, a new documentary series narrated by John Malkovich, about FC Barcelona from the inside which will be produced by Barça Studios, the club’s own production house.

As the streaming industry rapidly changes in the face of new services and changing consumer expectations, the ad-supported approach prevents advertisers from being squeezed out by subscription only services. By engaging with new business models to the VOD sector, Rakuten TV is satisfying demands from both consumers and, importantly, advertisers who are eager to fund these new undertakings.

As such, Rakuten TV will be the first company to combine TVOD (Transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) and AVOD across Europe. Adding the free ad-supported channels will complement the original 'Your Cinema at Home' proposition by Rakuten TV which sees Smart TV viewers offered the best cinematic experience with the latest new releases in the best audiovisual quality.

There are already 30 million households across Europe who can access Rakuten TV using the dedicated button found on the remote controls for their major brand Smart TVs, so access to these new free channels is just a click away.

Roca commented, “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.”

He added, “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”.

Simultaneously, a revamped platform design for Rakuten TV, with a more attractive look and feel and a more intuitive user interface will simplify the user experience and allow access to the new ad-supported content.

The service will be available in beta version, across the complete compatible 2019 SMART TV line up, and will be progressively rolled out to other platforms including mobile and desktop.

Are there any site members or visitors that have access to Rakuten TV? If so, why not use the discussion thread let everyone know what the new free channels are like when they arrive.

Source: Press release
Image Source: Rakuten
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