Rakuten TV is to launch its first ad-supported video-on-demand channel.
The announcement was made during an AVOD session at Mipcom 2019, by Rakuten’s founder and CEO Jacinto Roca.
The initial offer will feature Hollywood and local content, which will later be expanded to take in exclusive Rakuten content, TV series, documentary series, news and sport channels as part of a combined linear and on-demand offer.
Rautken says the expansion of its business offer, combining TVOD and AVOD is “meeting the changing needs of viewers”.
“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,” said Roca. “This is the mere beginning of a huge project which will see the launch of additional channels and exclusive content in the coming months”.
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.
Rakuten TV is also introducing a “more intuitive” user interface. Viewers will discover the new channel offering featuring ad-supported content inside the ‘free’ section implemented within the header menu.
Rakuten, headquartered in Japan, is also known for its partnerships with FC Barcelona, the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, Davis Cup and Spartan Race.