Internet streaming the greatest challenges


Simon Homent TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Simon Homent
Issue 91 - July 2014

What is Wuaki.tv and who do you target?

Wuaki.tv is a leading movie and TV series streaming service, dedicated to providing consumers with a wide selection of high quality content through a la carte rental and purchase or subscription services. The goal is to become Europes best way of watching and experiencing high quality entertainment directly on your computer, tablet, games console, Smart TV and other connected devices. Wuaki.tv is already available on multiple platforms, including Xbox One, Chromecast, numerous Smart TVs and Windows 8 devices, to name a few. As such, it is easily accessible to anyone wanting to stream great content.

Wuaki.tv is ideal for everyone, from those who want to watch their favourite movies on-demand when the mood takes them, to die hard TV series fans who love to delve into the latest shows at the click of a button.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievements so far and how will you build on this?

In 2013 we exceeded one million users worldwide, and also expanded the business into the UK market - attracting more than 250,000 users since launch. To have made our mark in such a competitive market as the UK is a huge accomplishment.

To build on this we will continue to pursue more partnerships with a wider selection of content providers and device manufacturers, which will certainly help us attract new users to our service.

What will be the biggest aim for Wuaki this year?

The aim for the year has been to grow Wuaki.tv through expansion into other key European markets, as well as making continuous updates to the service for our current users in Spain and the UK through by bringing new content to the platform and increasing the number of device partnerships. So far this year, we have entered into new partnerships with LG and Panasonic, bringing Wuaki.tv to new Smart TV ranges. Over 70% of UK viewers will watch movies and TV shows through a Smart TV during 2014 and we only expect this trend to grow. However, with more and more people watching content on more devices, our biggest aim is to ensure Wuaki.tv customers can access our catalogue on the device of their choosing. For example, we have recently partnered with Google to offer Chromecast support and a discount on purchasing a Chromecast device with Wuaki.tv so were now appealing to those users who do not currently own a Smart TV.

Well also be launching Wuaki.tv in France over the summer, and adding Germany and Italy too before the end of 2014.

What factors will impact the industry in the upcoming year?

The main factors that will impact the industry in the next year will be focused around technology and competitors. Hot topics like Ultraviolet and 4k, as well as new devices coming to market, will affect the customer user experience greatly, so it will be interesting to see how this develops.

With more and more competitors entering the already overcrowded and popular VOD space, the market will continue to grow and develop rapidly as companies battle to stay one step ahead of the game.

Who are your partners in the UK and what do the partnerships mean for your users?

We have two main types of partnerships in the UK; content and device partnerships. Our relationships in the UK focus on bringing the best quality content to our users, through collaborating with movie and TV production companies, on the widest selection of devices possible, through partnerships with device manufacturers.

Our content partnerships include all of the major Hollywood Studios, as well as key independent UK distributors such as the BBC and ITV. In addition to this, we have also recently expanded partnerships with US-based content owners, bringing HBO and Miramax catalogues and some great titles including Game of Thrones, Hunger Games and True Detective. Were also looking at adding more British and European content to complement the existing line up.

Alongside this, we have device partnerships with major OEMs including Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Microsoft and Google. This allows us to offer the Wuaki.tv service on a range of devices our customers use to rent and watch the latest movies and TV series through Smart TVs, Xbox games console, tablets, Windows 8 tablets and PC, mobiles, and most recently Googles Chromecast.

We aim to expand our partnerships this year, to ensure all of our users receive the best quality content on the most extensive range of devices.

What does being part of the Rakuten group mean for Wuaki and its users?


Being part of Rakuten is a big boost for Wuaki. It makes us part of a leading global network of Internet services, which will be increasingly important for us as we expand beyond the UK and Spanish markets.

It also allows us to tie into other Rakuten brands in local markets, to make the online shopping and experience a much smoother process for our users. For example, in the UK, Play.com users, another Rakuten company, can use their Play.com account to log into Wuaki and earn Superpoints to use on Play.coms retail store. This ensures our users in the Rakuten family have a seamless experience amongst all platforms, including Wuaki.tv.

What are the greatest challenges for internet streaming companies?


There are always challenges when operating in a sector as technology-led as ours. Each new technology innovation brings new user expectations and thus more challenges.

Consumers increasingly want all of their content to be available effortlessly across all devices. Where a few years ago the idea of having access to the same content on different devices was a novelty, consumers now like to watch a movie on the go on their tablet or phone and continue to watch it on their Smart TV when they get home. They might also want to watch a movie on their Smart TV at home in their living room, but also allow children to have access to kids shows through their Xbox in another room. Content now has to work around other activities in a users life, following them from one to the other and be ready to watch when they are. Wuaki.tv has been working hard on partnerships to make sure our customers have access to content on all of their devices.

We have also found consumers want the latest titles immediately, as soon as a movie or TV series is released on DVD or available on one service. This means we have an increasingly interesting role where we are both an entertainment and technology company. Balancing these roles can be tough, but through our ongoing work with both device and content companies were providing a quality service to consumers, that is growing all the time.


Tags: iss091 | Wuaki.tv | internet streaming | Simon Homent
Contributing Author Simon Homent

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Articles
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
An Obituary to Timecode
Bruce Devlin - new A stoic and persistent character that stubbornly refused to change with the times, Timecode has finally passed on, but no-one has noticed. A long-lasting industry veteran, Timecode was brought into this world at an uncertain date in the late 1960s due to the needs of analogue tape workflows and the demand for synchronisation between audio and video devices. A joint activity between SMPTE and the EBU led to the work on Time and Control codes starting its journey to standardisation in the early 1970s.
Tags: iss134 | timecode | smpte | ebu | edit | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
The Wireless Way to 4k
JP Delport DTC’s AEON group of products have been specifically designed for the 4K market. We encode with the more efficient HEVC algorithm, which means we are taking a 12G signal and compressing it to a bitrate that can be managed over an RF link. So what makes this a leading idea in the 4K revolution?
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | JP Delport
Contributing Author JP Delport Click to read or download PDF