Social commerce leader swoops for Spanish VOD service
Editor ©RapidTVNews | 14-06-2012
In a surprise move, albeit one that further extends its global reach, Rakuten, one of the world’s foremost e-commerce companies, has acquired Spanish streaming and video on demand business, Wuaki.tv.
Founded in 2009, Barcelona-based Wuaki.tv offers premium content over the Internet directly to Smart TVs. The business has existing content distribution agreements with Hollywood majors as well as local studios, as well as partnership agreements with TV manufacturers to incorporate its technology into their TVs.
For its part, Rakuten’s latest acquisition, its fourth in Europe in the last two years, comes on the heels of recent investments in e-commerce and social media platforms and represents a significant step forward in building out its ecosystem.
Explaining the strategy behind the acquisition, Rakuten Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani said: “The Wuaki.tv management team and technology are both very strong, as is the number and strength of its relationships across the video and hardware industries. We saw synergies in the ambition of both businesses to expand internationally while video on demand extends our digital goods offering. We also both believe the opportunity for video on demand services across Europe, as well as further afield, to still be in its infancy – particularly when looking at media consumption via mobile connected devices and eReaders.”
Added Jacinto Roca, founder and CEO of Wuaki.tv: “We are already seeing a significant uptake of services due to increasing numbers of connected TVs and mobile connected devices and believe that, ultimately, online video will replace traditional pay-for-TV services. This agreement will allow us to expand the successful Wuaki.tv offering, both in terms of services and geographical reach.”