Rakuten TV March 14 announced partnerships with Samsung Electronics, LG, Philips and Hisense to introduce a remote control button on their smart TV units in Europe and Pan America directly linking to the streaming video service.
The move comes about eight years after Netflix began incorporating its logo/button on TV remote controls in the United States. The SVOD pioneer followed up in Europe in 2015.
Barcelona-based Rakuten TV, which offers digital retail, rental of Hollywood movies, in addition to subscription streaming video throughout Europe, said incorporating its logo/button on TV remotes would increase its presence worldwide, including reaching more than 30 Million households and tripling its distribution from 12 to 40 countries in 2019.
The platform, which is owned by Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten, was previously known as Wuaki.tv. A year ago, Rakuten acquired British-based TalkTalk TV, which was previously known as Blinkbox.
The service said it would also increase selection of 4K HDR movies in all the 40 European countries involved in the expansion. Last year it became the first in Europe to offer 4K UHD content in Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Dolby Atmos on LG smart televisions.
“This is a major step that our company is undertaking within a plan of expansion, which aims at making Rakuten TV the first choice of entertainment for Smart TV owners,” founder/CEO Jacinto Roca said in a statement.
“This is proof of our commitment with providing an always better experience to cinema lovers. With this move, Rakuten TV will triple its presence on a continental level, strengthening its commitment to deliver the best cinematic experience at home.”