Rakuten TV, OTT platform based in Spain that includes films and TV series in its offer, announced its expansion to more than 30 European countries, which could also include Asian and Latin American markets. The platform produced its first own film in 2018 and is available under free TVOD and SVOD models. Jacinto Roca, CEO of Rakuten TV, said that the expansion means ‘another step to become a global player in the industry’.
Subscriptions to Rakuten TV are not monthly, but subscribers can watch and pay movies on demand. ‘We think that the simplicity of our offer is one of the key value propositions for us, so we have no plans to introduce monthly bundles’, said Roca, and explained that ‘ The focus today is making sure that we have people enjoying at least one movie per month on our platform’.
The second area where Rakuten TV is trying to stand apart from others in the streaming video space is its decision not to create original content, or at least not on any scale. Last year, the company produced its first film, Hurricane’, described by Roca as ‘an experiment, without strategic initiative’. He also added that the main idea is to ‘do three or four more films this year, to start learning about production’.
The third area in which Rakuten is trying to differentiate itself from its competitors, and one of the reasons why the company has been slow to expand to more countries is location. Roca says that Rakuten TV will stand out by offering a wider and better selection of content for each local market, using data to see not just what locals like to watch on TV, but what were popular cinematic releases that Rakuten should definitely try to get for those markets. 60% of the content of Rakuten TV is consumed in Smart TVs. The company also claims to have the largest 4K HDR film catalog in Europe and is about to start testing 8K.