Play.com owner acquires Spanish video-on-demand service
The company behind Play.com has acquired Spanish video-on-demand streaming service Wuaki.tv. Rakuten, which also owns the e-reader company Kobo and buy.com in the United States, is the third largest e-commerce company in the world and hopes to aggressively move into the Spanish market.
Wuaki.tv was launched in 2009 and initially offered premium content, largely from the Hollywood studios, directly to connected TVs. The company has a number of distribution agreements for movies and series and also launched an online VOD service.
Jacinto Roca, founder and CEO of Wuaki.tv, said: “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.”
Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten, added: “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.”