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Wuaki.tv plans French, German and Italian launches

TV and movie streaming service Wuaki.tv is expanding its European footprint to a total of five countries, announcing plans to launch in France this summer and Germany and Italy before the end of the year.

Wuaki_screengrabWuaki, which first went live in Spain in 2010 and then rolled out to the UK in 2013, said the new launches signalled “the beginning of an aggressive international expansion plan.”

The firm aims to launch in 11 European countries by the end of 2015 and will hire more staff to drive its expansion plans, it said. Currently Wuaki employs 85 people in Spain and the UK.

Wuaki offers on-demand movie and TVs for rental and purchase on a per-title basis, and the firm has deals in place with major studios including Warner Bros, Disney, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The service can be accessed on a range of devices, including Xbox games consoles, smart TVs, tablets, mobile phones, laptops and PCs.

Wuaki is owned by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, which acquired the firm in mid-2012. Rakuten’s other assets include instant messaging service Viber, VoD service Viki which crowd-sources content translation and e-retail site Play.com.

Wuaki’s expansion comes as subscription VoD service Netflix prepares to launch in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year.

Last year, TBI was the first to report that Wuaki planned to launch outside of its domestic Spanish market.