Rakuten TV, the video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service, has launched its first ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) channels on the program, opening up the avenue of watching some content on the service for free.
Rakuten TV has created a free section on its service for those not looking to fork over cash. This AVOD platform will serve up an initial offering that includes local content and Hollywood films, and will be expanded in the subsequent months to include exclusive Rakuten content, TV, documentary series, news and sport channels.
That makes Rakuten TV the first VOD provider to combine TVOD (transactional video-on-demand or downloads) and AVOD tiers in Europe. By taking this approach, Rakuten TV has said it will offer smart TV users “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 across a range of 2019 smart TVs, with desktop and mobile apps in the pipeline.
The platform will also undergo a redesign, getting a more attractive look, intuitive interface and a simpler user interaction. Viewers should be able to discover the new ad-supported channel offering inside the ‘free’ section in the header menu.