Rakuten expands Wuaki.tv to France

Japanese e-commerce and internet giant Rakuten has kicked off a soft launch of its Wuaki.tv content streaming platform in France, via clients of its local e-commerce site PriceMinister.

Under the operation, the service will only be available to PriceMinister’s 20 million subscribers for the month of September before being launched France-wide. The launch comes just days before the controversial arrival of US streaming giant Netflix in France on September 15.

Founded in 2009, Wuaki.TV is based in Barcelona. It currently also operates in Spain and the UK where it says it has 1.2 million subscribers.

The company has deals with Hollywood majors, as well as local players in Spain and the UK, and also partnership deals with leading TV, tablet and gaming console manufacturers.

Wuaki.TV’s new French operation is the latest step in a long-term plan to roll the service out across Europe.