Rakuten TV review – prices, features and content
Rakuten TV (formerly Wuaki) has recently removed the streaming option from its service, focusing instead on the buying and renting of digital movies and television shows. So how does it now hold up in the face of growing competition?
Founded in Spain in 2010 as Wuaki.tv, Rakuten TV is a streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) service owned by ecommerce giant Rakuten (parent company to Play.com and Kobo Inc.). It now has over 600,000 users in Spain and more than 400,000 in the UK. Let’s take a look at how Rakuten TV shapes up since the removal of its streaming service.
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Rakuten TV pricing
Rakuten TV costs £4.99 per month after the free trial has ended. This gives you access to a number of “free” movies you can watch when you like. However, just like Sky, Virgin Media and Amazon Prime, certain titles require you to pay an extra fee to view. For example, the latest releases, such as Wonderwoman 1984 will set you back £15.99 to rent! Below is a list of pricing for new releases and back catalogue titles, but amounts do tend to vary.
|Rent||Around £4.99||Up to £15.99|
|Buy||Around £9.99||Around £13.99|
|Rent||From £1.99||From £3.99|
|Buy||From £2.99||Around £8.99|
Platforms and devices that Rakuten TV is compatible with
Top picks on Rakuten TV
How do I sign up to Rakuten TV?
Since Rakuten TV has dropped its “Selection” subscription service, signing up is a simple process. Simply visit the website and click the yellow register button in the top-right corner of the screen. Next, you will be asked to insert some basic login information. Enter your email address (which will later be used as a login I.D) and an eight character password. You will be asked to repeat your password for security purposes. Once that’s done, you’re ready. You now have a Rakuten TV account. Once you choose a title to download (if it doesn’t sit with the free movies available), you will be asked to enter your payment details to pay for it.
Rakuten TV pros and cons
- Reasonably priced
- Some early digital releases (like Insurgent)
- Extra payment for new releases or back catalogue
- Inconsistent stream quality
Rakuten TV offers an interesting hybrid of traditional digital purchases and streaming video-on-demand (much as Amazon Prime Instant video offers now), although Rakuten TV appears to offer an inferior service to what’s already available from the bigger players, like Google Play and iTunes. Add this to its unreliable stream quality and what you get is a service that simply doesn’t compete well enough.
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