Wuaki.tv rebrands as Rakuten TV
Staff Reporter | On 06, Jul 2017
Wuaki.tv has rebranded as Rakuten TV this month.
The streaming service, based in Barcelona, offers movies to buy and rent to customers. Founded way back in 2007, it was bought up by Japanese giant Rakuten in 2012. Since then, it has grown significantly, signing a string of deals to stand out from the crowd. Last this year, it became the sponsor of FC Barcelona, while in the UK, it teamed up with EE to become its replacement for free cinema tickets with Orange Wednesdays.
As of the end of 2016, the site has 4 million users across Europe and operates in 12 countries, including Spain, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal.
It is now the largest platform in Europe for the purchase and rental of streaming movies on Smart TVs, with the service also available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Roku boxes and Google Chromecast.
However, users going to search for the app this month won’t be able to find it, as it has changed its name to Rakuten TV.
The movie is part of Rakuten’s plan to unify its global branding. The rebranding coincides with Rakuten’s 20th anniversary and with the launch of a new global partnership with FC Barcelona.
“Providing a more consistent identity to each of the services within the Rakuten Group lays the groundwork for our 1 billion users across the globe to more easily recognise the benefits of using more than one service,” says the company.
Indeed, in Japan, the Rakuten brand is more ubiquitous than in the UK, due to the successful creation of a unique ecosystem that has linked services across e-commerce, travel, fintech, digital contents, communication, credit cards, electronic money, banking, securities, insurance and professional sports. With a common membership ID and loyalty program across more than 70 services, users are able to earn and use incentive points across online and off-line services.
“This year, as we start our global partnership with FC Barcelona, the unique and much-loved football team known as more than a club, we will also continue to strive to be more than a company,” says Mickey Mikitani, Rakuten founder, Chairman and CEO. “As a company that stands for optimism and empowerment of local communities, with the unification of the Rakuten brand, we will take another step toward strengthening our ecosystem of services across the globe.”
The Wuaki.tv rebrand will also apply to Rakuten’s streaming services in other companies, with Japan’s Rakuten Showtime and the USA’s Viki both rebranding to become Rakuten TV and Rakuten Viki respectively.