Offering the first hybrid PAYG and subscription streaming service, Wuaki.tv is being launched by Rakuten as a new competitor to the successful Netflix and LoveFilm offerings.
Users can either rent or buy moves or TV series episodes they wish to watch, or can subscribe to the Wuaki.tv service on a pay monthly basis.
“Streaming services have grown significantly in the UK, and we see a huge gap to offer a hybrid of the traditional subscription and a la carte models,” said Jacinto Roca, Wuaki.tv Founder and CEO.
The Wuaki Plus monthly subscription is priced at £5.99 per month normally, but early subscribers can take advantage of the beta-phase’s introductory £2.99 per month subscription for life.
Any customers already signed up to Wuaki.tv’s sister site, Play.com, will also get a 50 per cent discount on their first two film rentals.
Movie rentals are priced at £3.49 or £3.99, while TV series can be purchased on a season basis, with prices according to how recent their release date is.
“However, we know many people also want to rent or buy the very latest new releases, which are usually not available on subscription streaming services immediately, and other simply prefer to have on-demand on an a la carte basis. With Wuaki users can have both, and pick-and-choose what they want, when they want.”
Already home to thousands of films and TV programmes from Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Disney, the BBC and Twentieth Century Fox, Wuaki.tv certainly looks like it is lining up as a strong contender against the dominant existing streaming services.
Wuaki.tv is currently only available on desktop platforms, Wuaki.tv will be launching smart TV, tablet and game console apps over the summer months to increase its service.
“We’ve already seen huge success with the hybrid model in Spain, with over 600,000 users and we believe we’ll see similar success in the UK and other European markets. It is a competitive market, but we believe putting the consumer in control through our one-stop-shop solution for video on-demand will give us an edge.”
Next, read our pick of the best TVs of 2013.