Rakuten TV has announced the launch of its first ad-supported VoD channels within the platform. This new business model will allow viewers to watch a wide range of content for free.
The free section of Rakuten TV launches 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.
Among the exclusive content, Rakuten TV will present on its AVoD channel Matchday – Inside FC Barcelona, the new documentary series about FC Barcelona from the inside, offering previously unseen and exclusive scenes from the players’ private lives.
Expanding its business model proposition, Rakuten TV will combine TVoD and AVoD products across Europe, meeting the changing needs of viewers. Rakuten says the free ad-supported channels will enrich the original proposition of Rakuten TV – Your Cinema at Home – offering Smart TV viewers the best cinematic experience with the latest new releases in the best audiovisual quality.
Jacinto Roca, Rakuten TV Founder and CEO, stated: “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”.
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.
Advertising sales will be managed by Rakuten Marketing, a subsidiary of Rakuten. Nick Stamos, Rakuten Marketing CEO, stated: “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.”
Rakuten Viber, Rakuten’s instant messaging service, will also be involved in the project, leveraging its community of 2 million Barça fans to promote Matchday.
Nielsen will be the data partner (DMP-data management platform) used to target advertisements at a digital level.