Amazon and Netflix have a new challenger: Wuaki.tv
With Europe’s video-on-demand market set for growth in the next couple of years, home-grown online video service Wuaki.tv is poised to take on Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Instant Video in hopes of becoming the go-to service in the region.
Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, Wuaki.tv was founded in 2009 andacquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten in 2012 for an undisclosed amount. With the help of the acquisition, the company is able to compete on a European level with key industry players, said Wuaki.tv co-founder Josep Mitjà in an interview with Tech.eu.
In a move to further boost its European expansion, Wuaki.tv announced in March 2015 it had hired former Apple iTunes executive Sébastian Janin to head international business development.
To date, the service is available in Spain, the UK, France, Germany and Italy with Ireland and Austria next on the roadmap. “We plan to be in 10 to 12 countries by the end of 2015,” said Mitjà.
Eyes on Europe
Europe’s online video-on-demand (VOD) landscape is highly fragmented and a report released by the European Commission in 2014 counted nearly 3,000 services across Europe, with 241 services in the UK and 171 services in Germany. However, many of the platforms are operated by local media channels, rather than services offered to several European countries.
Netflix already has its eyes set on Europe. In September 2014, already present in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics, the US company had its biggest European push and rolled out in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. There’s no doubt that international expansion plays a crucial role in Netflix’s future, especially in opening up a huge opportunity of potential subscribers – especially in France and Germany – and fuelling its ambitions to become a truly global player.
With that in mind, competitors are also gearing up for Netflix’s bullish expansion in Europe. Other rivals ramping up in this space include Amazon’s Prime Instant Video operations in Europe, HBO Go, Mubi(see our earlier profile) and VOD services offered by regional media companies, such asProSiebenSat.1’s Maxdome, Canal Play Infinity and BSkyB’s Sky Go.
So what makes Wuaki.tv stand out from the growing number of players in this realm?
Find out more here.