Play.com to become LOVEFiLM & Netflix killer

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We’ve had an tip off that the Play.com domain isn’t for sale, although the brand is definitely to be dumped in favour of Rakuten.co.uk. This makes perfect sense as all sites across the world will carry the Rakuten brand.

The domain will go to Wuaki.tv, a Barcelona streaming media company which Rakuten already own.

Wuaki.tv aim to become the European alternative for watching movies directly on your computer, TV, tablet or console. The service is already up and live in Spanish, and all content is stored in the cloud so that, when you buy or rent a movie from Wuaki.tv, it’s instantly available on all your registered devices.

Rakuten are already infiltrating Europe and the US with marketplace businesses and are rapidly closing down existing retail operations on the site they acquire in preparation. Now it appears that with Wuaki.tv and the Play.com brand, Rakuten also aim to compete with Amazon’s LOVEFiLM and Netflix. That puts them head to head with Amazon on two fronts in Europe!

Look out for Play.com becoming a place where you can rent and stream video content instead of buying media. Although of course you’ll still be able to buy DVDs from Rakuten.co.uk but through 3rd party merchants instead of from Rakuten themselves.

I have to say though… Play.com – what a perfect URL for a streaming media site!

8 Responses

  1. Rakuten really rolls off the tongue unlike Play… Not

    Changing the name will kill the company off in the UK.

  2. Other markets like US (buy.com) beware rakutenised asap!

    Aside from play – brand “buy” may actually appeal to UK Ireland, US and EU more as an Amazon marketplace than a name *rakuten* that many will not bother with, not easy on the tounge and need to write it down!

  3. The changing of name from Play.com to Rakuten.co.uk will make absolutely no difference. Its nothing that a few TV adverts and billboards won’t sort out.

    It didn’t take long for people to get used to ‘Santander’, even when it used to be known by an easy name like ‘Abbey’ before.

    They should not switch to using Play.com for streaming media too quickly, however. They will need at least a year or so for people to get used to typing ‘rakuten’ instead of ‘play’. They can do a redirect in the meantime.

  4. Are they going to abandon the playtrade brand though? We can currently use the playtrade.com domain to access the marketplace – if this stays people can just switch to that rather than rakuten.co.uk

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