Singapore-based video streaming platform Viki will be launching its beta version for Japanese viewers starting tomorrow. The company is one of the recent acquisitions of Tokyo tech giant Rakuten, who bought it for a reported $200 million.
In a statement released by Rakuten, it described the launch as one of the company’s “move to bring together Viki’s global content, language and community-first DNA to expand the scope of Rakuten’s $16 billion digital content and e-commerce business.” Viki Japan will have free TV shows and movies from all over the globe with Japanese subtitles. Japanese subscribers may log in using their Rakuten IDs to access the shows including the popular American remake of Japanese manga, “Hana Yori Dango“ or “Boys Before Friends” in the U.S. Viki Japan will also feature Korean dramas and Chinese shows such as “Group of Women” and even Colombian telenovelas.
A premium edition of the site, Viki Pass, will enable subscribers to watch HD video streaming in multiple devices, ad-free shows and other exclusive content. This service costs 400 yen ($3.99) monthly. While Viki currently operates three billion streams and around 450 million translated words, Rakuten promises to take Viki to new markets in other countries to add to the current 200 countries it is available in. With the launch of Viki Japan and the purchase of messaging app Viber and image recognition start-up ViSenze, Rakuten is on a roll to achieve CEO Hiroshi Mikitani’s dream of becoming “the world’s No. 1 internet services company.”
[via Tech Crunch]