LONDON, UK — Global ecommerce giant Rakuten s going into 2024 planning to take its new connected TV advertising solution into new countries.

In October 2023, Rakuten Advertising launched CTVision+, a portfolio of inventory from European CTV providers, aiming to make it a single gateway for global ad buyers to buy ads across a fragmented market.

While the service launched initially in the UK, Chris Edwards, Director of Media at Rakuten Advertising, told me it would expand across the “EU 5”, the five key markets of Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom).

Building the Media Division

“Four years ago, I came on board to essentially build up the media division, to monetize the media platforms within the Rakuten ecosystem,” Edwards says. Since then, the company has successfully launched a commercial solution across 64 territories in Europe.

Rakuten Advertising’s footprint includes an affiliate network of more than 150,000 partners and a media offering including:

  • Rakuten TV, a streaming TV platform.
  • Viber, the messaging app.
  • Viki, the Japanese and Korean streaming service.
  • CTVision+, the CTV ad network.

Rakuten TV, a key part of this ecosystem, has been around for nearly 15 years. Initially, it was a purely pay-per-view platform where users could rent, hire, or buy any movie. In 2019, they introduced a free-to-view service.

“We go to market offering a premium content within both an AVoD, on-demand service, as well as the new developed FAST service,” Edwards explains.

Changing Perceptions and the Future of TV

“(For CTVision+), We’ve partnered with a number of other premium publisher partners, the likes of Virgin Media, the likes of CNN,” Edwards says, describing portfolio content partners.

These collaborations have made it possible for Rakuten to cover not only markets like the UK, but also other territories like France and Germany.

“We provide a single buy, a very scaled brand-safe solution that enables buyers to access a scaled approach to the connected TV space, or the total TV space,” he explains.

Rakuten’s Plans for 2024

Edwards talks excitedly about Rakuten’s plans for the future.

“We’ve just launched this solution in the UK, the CTVision+ solution, to great success,” he says. The focus for the coming year is scaling this solution out to other markets.

While Rakuten TV is available in 64 territories, the “EU 5” are the core markets where this scaled solution will be first delivered.

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