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Rakuten TV strikes deals with telcos and TV platforms across Europe

International streaming operator Rakuten TV has struck multiple deals with telcos and TV providers across Europe.

Rakuten has extended its partnership with Germany’s 1&1 from last year which included more than 6,000 titles available for both rental and purchase (TVOD) by adding hundreds of titles that will be offered on demand completely free of charge (AVOD) to their subscribers. As part of the extended partnership, Rakuten TV will provide additional on-demand content for free (AVOD) to 1&1 subscribers.

The renewed agreement also sees telco services company Rakuten Symphony providing infrastructure to the German telco.

In aim to bolster the distribution of Rakuten TV’s services, the company has also entered partnerships with content aggregators Agile TV in Italy and Masmedia TV in Spain.

Agile TV is a leading provider of digital OTT TV and video distribution solutions, offering a comprehensive portfolio of scalable products, SaaS applications, and cloud-based services for telcos, such as Tiscali in Italy. Masmedia TV provides technology to operators to enhance users’ streaming experience.

The partnerships signifies the company’s wider plans for international expansion, following recent partnerships such as Netgem in the UK and Ireland, Zattoo in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and Alteox in Luxembourg where Rakuten TV currently offers its TVOD service.

Speaking to DTVE, Rakuten TV CEO, Cédric Dufour, said: “All telcos have the same issue and probably the same expectations. They need to provide VOD service to their customers because it’s a must have for their customers. But at the same time, it’s not part of their core business. Their core business is more telecommunications. So they are quite keen to outsource this service to companies like us because in our case, it is our core business.”

“Closing an agreement with these tech companies also allow us to address and to have access to many telcos, which are also their clients. So having deals with telco and with these tech aggregators allow us to cover almost all the scope of the telcos – the big ones and also the smaller ones. So we are really focusing on reinforcing our footprint in the telco business.”

“So we are always adapting our offer. To the demand of the end of the evolution of the market,” he added. “We wanted to not limit our content to our application and our audience…That’s the beauty of being present in so many countries is that we can quickly expand our content elsewhere.”