Streaming platform Rakuten TV announced today at Mip TV’s FAST Summit in Cannes, the launch of new owned and operated FAST channels. Following the success of its branded Rakuten TV Film channels, with Hollywood and local movies, it is entering the TV Series landscape by launching a Reality/Factual Entertainment channel in the UK and Crime series channels in DACH, France, Italy and Spain.

Rakuten TV has now over 100 owned and operated channels in Europe, across multiple genres, such as Film, Documentary, Series and Kids. This latest launch underscores Rakuten TV as a platform for premium content via various offerings (TVOD, AVOD & FAST), but also as a channel programmer, by packaging and curating content for each market.

Real Series was released on the UK on 12th April and its programming is centred in Reality & Factual Entertainment shows. It will feature popular shows such as Worst Cooks in America, the American culinary bootcamp series; the reality show My New BFF, with  heiress Paris Hilton; and Undercover Boss.

The Series Crime channel has also been launched on 12th April in Italy, including British detective Wallander, and Boss, starring Kelsey Grammer. The channels will roll out to other countries across the following months. Programming will vary depending on each market, in France it will be the home of iconic shows such as Alerta Cobra 11, the popular German crime series that has been on air for 27 years, and Un Flic, one of the most successful crime series on French Television.

All channels will also be available on Samsung’s TV Plus service, with more FAST platforms to follow.

Rakuten TV’s CEO Cedric Dufour took the opportunity to emphasise during MIP’s FAST Summit how free with ads content have become vital to the company: “FAST & AVOD currently represent a significant portion of our business, with healthy double digit YoY growth. This is a result of both our CTV Ad Sales expertise through our sister-company Rakuten Advertising, but also due to a locally relevant and top-notch quality content being offered for free to millions of our users.”

“Aside from our FAST channels line-up and the Rakuten TV Originals being offered to all 43 countries in Europe, we will also continue to invest in Original productions, due to their exclusive appeal and strong engagement with new users”.

Rakuten TV’s Head of Originals, Cristian Liarte, also attended MIP’s panel What do Streamers want?, discussing Rakuten TV’s production strategy and the platform’s benefits for advertisers, agencies and opportunities for co-production models with producers, broadcasters and platforms.

Rakuten TV’s TVOD service offers the latest releases to buy or rent in high audio and video quality. The advertising-supported offering comprises AVOD and FAST services. The AVOD service features more than 10,000 titles available on-demand, including films, documentaries and series from Hollywood and local studios, as well as the catalogue with Original and Exclusive content. The FAST service consists of an extensive line-up of over 500 unique channels among which 100 owned and operated across Europe, including free linear channels from global networks, European broadcasters and media groups, and the platform’s own thematic channels with curated content.

Rakuten TV is available in 43 European territories and currently reaches more than 140 million households via its branded remote-control button and pre-installed app in Smart TV devices.

Pippa Considine

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