Of all possible investment propositions and ventures, online streaming platforms are probably one of the wisest these days. If a company has the capital to invest, and the infrastructure to put together a good, complete library of movies, series, and other productions, the project is sure to take off at some point.
That is because online streaming has quietly, but surely become the preferred entertainment provider in a planet ruled by Internet-powered devices. Nowadays, people of all ages – yes, even children and elderly people – are adept at handling a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, and they find amusing the fact that they can connect at any time and watch their favorite sitcom, a drama film, a sci-fi production, or the hottest TV series of the moment.
Another option to the prolific online streaming market
The online streaming market, as a consequence, is fierce if you are a developer or investor, but if you are a consumer, you will find some quality options in the international services sector. Multimedia libraries like Netflix, Pop Corn Time, Hulu, the BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and others are powerful, stable enterprises that are recognized as the most solid in their field.
However, another option has recently entered the market with the objective of earning points in the viewers’ consideration. Its name is Rakuten TV and comes from a very successful Japanese parent company of the same name.
Overcoming geo-blocking issues: is it possible?
Rakuten TV is available in Japan and a host of European countries, as it is currently in the growth phase. However, connection requests from other latitudes will most likely be denied because of geographical and licensing reasons.
If you are in a country that does not provide the Rakuten TV online streaming feed, you can hire the services of a quality VPN provider and gain access from wherever you are, because that technology offers users the opportunity to spoof their location and obtain a Japanese, or any, IP address.
How to watch Rakuten outside Japan
For now, Rakuten TV is available in Japan and a dozen European nations. So if you are in one of those countries, you will have no issues accessing the service – albeit you won’t have the Japanese catalog available for geographical reasons.
If you aren’t in one of the 13 nations in which Rakuten TV doesn’t extend its services, you won’t be able to access because the system will recognize your IP address and restrict streaming because the content is not meant to be displayed in other countries, or at least not yet.
However, if you want to watch Rakuten TV from outside Japan, you can hire the services of a VPN provider. That way, you will have the ability to choose to connect to a server to one of the allowed countries, including Japan, thus unblocking the content.
VPN: your best ally
VPN is the abbreviation of Virtual Private Networks, which are online apps or clients that, once installed, can offer encryption to the user’s content and connection details, such as traffic and IP address. That scenario allows people to hide their real IP number and borrow a temporary one from a location that they will select from a list of available options.
By hiding the IP address and online traffic, the users reap privacy gains, because hackers, governmental agencies, Internet Service Providers, online advertisers, and other external agents will be kept away from the person’s content and valuable connection details.
The VPN’s bread and butter is its ability to virtually change the people’s location with just a few clicks or taps. The process is made to gain access to blocked international TV and streaming services, such as Rakuten TV. For example, if you are in Brazil or Canada, and you want to enter Japan’s Rakuten library, all you need to do is logging in to the VPN app, choosing a Japanese server, and the system will now recognize your connection request as if it were coming from within Japanese territory, enabling unlimited access to the platform and overcoming the geo-blocking message.
How to watch Rakuten TV from outside Japan with a VPN
- Select a VPN brand with servers in Japan and the 12 European countries in which Rakuten TV functions.
- Go to the VPN website.
- Sign up with the VPN provider. You will create a username and a password.
- Download and install the VPN app on the device you will use.
- Launch the app on your device.
- Log in using your VPN account.
- Connect to a Japanese VPN server to get a Japanese IP address.
- Go to Rakuten’s website.
- Watch Rakuten TV outside Japan without restrictions.
Best VPN to watch Rakuten TV from outside Japan
To watch Rakuten TV from outside of Japan, you need a VPN with servers there and in the 12 European countries that also run the service. TorGuard has that and more. With the industry’s best customer service and live chat feature – plus email support – the brand has built a robust reputation as one of the best in the market. It has OpenVPN and multi-protocol support, availability for five simultaneous connections, and excellent speeds and performance, all for $10 per month. It also has more than 3,000 servers in 55 nations.
A fantastic TorGuard alternative is GhostVPN. This provider implements the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, has a free version, a useful 15-day money-back guarantee, stealth VPN, unlimited bandwidth and server switching, and top-notch speeds and customer service department for $10 per month. It has 1,600 servers in 51 countries.
In conclusion, the Rakuten consortium has grown exponentially since its inception to the market in 1997. Now, the company is into TV and communications, with excellent potential in the next few years.
Its Rakuten TV service aims to compete with Netflix and the other top alternatives in the market. It is already available in 13 nations, and the best content can be found in the Japanese library.
However, if you are not in Japan or any of those other 12 countries, you can’t access the services and streaming content without a VPN app. They will give you the ability to choose your virtual location and unblock Rakuten TV Outside Japan without issues.
Rakuten: an all-purpose brand
To this point, we have talked exclusively about the Rakuten TV company. However, you should now that the parent enterprise is, in fact, an e-commerce giant that has recently ventured into the media and video-on-demand services industry.
Rakuten is available, like Netflix, in specific geographical regions with customized content albeit without the worldwide reach of the industry’s giant – at least as of yet. However, the Japanese firm is looking to extend its influence to nations where studios have somewhat limited reach; for example, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
If you want to know a little more about Rakuten, take this: the enterprise, which primary focus is e-commerce and Internet services, was founded in 1997 – 21 years ago – and is based in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan.
Rakuten’s B2B2C e-commerce platform Rakuten Ichiba is by far the largest e-commerce site in the country and one of the tops in the planet, judging by sheer sales. Also, Rakuten runs a prominent online bank and a credit company, as well as fintech and communication services.
Rakuten has reached the 1 billion member plateau and operated in nearly 30 nations around the world. It is indeed a global giant, often compared with United States of America’s famous platform Amazon.
Team up for success
The company is known for its international joint ventures with some of the most popular firms in the world, made to create and develop more and more products and services that satisfy its large clientele.
Some of Rakuten’s most renowned acquisitions are Buy.com (now Rakuten.com in the US), PriceMinister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brasil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland), Play.com (now Rakuten.co.uk in the UK), Wuaki.tv (now Rakuten TV in Spain), Kobo Inc. (now Rakuten Kobo in Canada), Viber (now Rakuten Viber), Ebates, Viki (now Rakuten Viki), OverDrive, Inc. (now Rakuten OverDrive), Slice (now Rakuten Slice) and The Grommet.
Almost 15,000 employees are known to work for Rakuten and its subsidiaries and alliances worldwide. In 2016, the company reported an astounding $348 million profit. The company came to recent relevance when it signed a multimillionaire global sponsorship deal with football giants FC Barcelona, worth 220 million euros.
The Rakuten Group has business interest in:
- Online shopping
- Credit card and payments
- Travel reservations
- Professional sports
- Video on demand
- Marketing and data analysis
- Book distribution
- Mobile messaging
Rakuten TV: A competitor for Netflix and the planet’s top platforms
Rakuten TV is a member company of the Rakuten Group, which has ventures in media and communications. As the branch looks for global exposure, it recently signed a deal to sponsor FC Barcelona – the team where the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, currently plays – until 2010.
Jacinto Roca is the founder and CEO of Rakuten TV, a very solid online streaming alternative to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. The company is currently present in Japan and 12 European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland the United Kingdom.
Like Netflix, the content that may be found in Japan is not the same as the one found in the UK library, for instance. That may not be so convenient, because as it happens with Netflix’s American region, the Japan catalog is by far the most complete and exciting that Rakuten has to offer.
Geographically adapted content
And also like Netflix, to access Rakuten’s UK catalog, you need to be connected from British territory. The service can know where you connect from because of your IP address, so unless you find a way to modify it (borrowing a new, temporary one is a more convenient way to rephrase that), that won’t change.
To take full advantage of Japan’s catalog (which contains some of Hollywood’s hottest films and series, in addition to independent filmmaker’s work and local content) from abroad, you need a VPN to acquire a Japanese IP address, but more on that later.
The Rakuten TV service is available on numerous browsers, devices, and operating systems existing in the market, such as iOS, Android, Chromecast, Smart TV, Roku, and the Xbox One.