Okay, we're pronouncing it "ooh-acki", because that sounds slightly more classy than "wacky", but you can call this new Rakuten-owned streaming service whatever you like. You can also choose how to pay for it, because the pricing system gives you the option of a monthly subscription for access to a "regularly-refreshed line-up" of movies and TV shows, or a per-item charge to rent or buy the latest Hollywood releases -- or you can pay both types of fee if you want it all. Having already attracted 600,000 subscribers in Spain (hence the idioma in the image above), Wuaki.tv is offering a decent introductory discount to give itself a kickstart in the UK: be among the first 75,000 to sign up during the beta phase (and do so before mid-September) and you'll get a half-price monthly fee of £2.99 for as long as you stay with the no-contract service. The downside to joining early is that, for the time being, you can only stream to a Mac or PC. Support for mobile devices, smart TVs and consoles is due to be added over the coming months, at which point the decision to sign up quickly (via the Source link below) might start to prove its worth.
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Wuaki.tv: the video streaming service from Internet giant Rakuten starts its international expansion with a unique proposition for the UK market
· UK's first streaming service to combine subscription, rental and purchasing of films and TV programmes
· Wuaki.tv will feature a catalogue of thousands of hours of movie and TV content, including titles from major Hollywood Studios and the BBC
· Films and TV shows available to stream on any Internet-connected PC or laptop, with support for games consoles, smart TVs and tablets to be added over the summer
· Limited launch offers for the summer: 1) £2.99 per month (50% off) for-life on Wuaki Plus subscription; 2) exclusive to Rakuten's Play.com customers, a 50% off voucher for the first two movie purchases.
London, UK, 12th July 2013 – Rakuten, one of the world's largest e-commerce companies, today announced the beta launch of Wuaki.tv in the UK. Wuaki.tv is the UK's first film and TV streaming service to offer both rental and purchase options, and a subscription service, and aims to compete in the UK marketplace with this unique hybrid model. The site launches in beta today, while additional content and device support is added over the next few months.
Wuaki.tv offers access to an extensive line-up of thousands of hours of film and TV programmes through any Internet-connected PC or laptop. Wuaki.tv's catalogue includes content from major Hollywood Studios, including Warner Bros., Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, and major UK and international distributors, including the BBC. Content available to rent or buy includes the latest Hollywood titles, such as Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful and Lincoln. The Wuaki Plus subscription service offers a regularly-refreshed line-up of great movies, from blockbusters to classic films, and highly-rated TV series such as The Tudors andDoctor Who.
Wuaki.tv is the first to offer a unique hybrid streaming model in the UK. Wuaki.tv users can choose between a la carte rental or purchase of individual films, TV series, and episodes, or monthly subscription to the Wuaki Plus service, offering unlimited streaming of an extensive selection of film and TV content. The new service means consumers can rent or purchase recently released films and TV shows as soon as they are available, and have access to an extensive collection of content through subscription, all from one service. No other streaming service currently offers both rental and purchase of recent releases and a subscription model in the UK.
"Streaming services have grown significantly in the UK, and we see a huge gap to offer a hybrid of the traditional subscription and a la carte models," comments Jacinto Roca, Founder and CEO of Wuaki.tv. "Our Wuaki Plus subscription offers a quality service at an attractive monthly rate. However, we know many people also want to rent or buy the very latest new releases, which are usually not available on subscription streaming services immediately, and others simply prefer to have on-demand on an a la carte basis. With Wuaki users can have both, and pick-and-choose what they want, when they want."
"We've already seen huge success with the hybrid model in Spain, with over 600,000 users, and believe we'll see similar success in the UK and other European markets. It is a competitive market, but we believe putting the consumer in control through our one-stop-shop solution for video-on-demand will give us an edge. We'll also be expanding the UK service over the summer, adding apps to support smart TVs, games consoles and tablets – so users can access film and TV content on the device of their choosing."
Wuaki.tv was founded in Barcelona, Spain, in 2009, and since launch has attracted over 600,000 customers. The service was acquired in 2012 by Rakuten, one of the world's largest e-commerce companies.
Wuaki Plus subscriptions will be priced at £5.99 per month, providing unlimited access to the company's extensive and regularly-refreshed selection of great films and TV shows. For a limited time at launch, early subscribers to the beta-phase can take advantage of a special offer of a Wuaki Plus subscription for £2.99 per month for life. A second limited launch offer is available exclusively to customers already signed-up to Play.com, Wuaki's sister company in the Rakuten group. Existing Play.com users can use a voucher code to get 50% off their first two film purchases.
The service will remain in beta while additional titles and support for a range of connected devices, including smartTVs, tablets, and games consoles, are added over the summer. Content will be available in HD and standard definition (SD), depending on devices. Wuaki.tv also plans to roll out the service to further European territories during 2013.