Saturday, October 19, 2013
Rakuten To Sell Items From U.S. Unit Viki's Videos
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Rakuten Inc. (4755) on Friday announced plans to bolster its e-commerce business by tapping an American video-streaming website operator it recently acquired.
The Japanese online shopping juggernaut will offer, for instance, items appearing in television dramas streamed by Viki. Travel products related to locations where shows and programs were filmed will also be available.
The strategy was announced here by Rakuten Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Mikitani and Razmig Hovaghimian, CEO of Viki.
Viki streams TV dramas and other licensed, subtitled content, boasting daily average viewership of 23 million around the world. The service is available free of charge, and much of the company's income comes from advertising. Viki will start a fee-based service in addition to the product sales in collaboration with Rakuten.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 19 morning edition)