Rakuten Viki launches TVOD service for Asian films

Rakuten Viki, a streaming service focused on East Asian content, is launching a TVOD (transactional video-on-demand) service for Asian films, including box office hits, which will be made available within weeks to a few months from their country of origin debut. 

Viewers in the US and Canada will also be able to access a library of earlier box office hits and fan favourites. In a statement, Rakuten Viki said new titles will be offered “at the relatively inexpensive fee of $4.99 or less”.

The service is launching with the US debut of two Korean films: Josée (pictured), on an exclusive basis, and New Year Blues, which were released in December and February respectively.  

Josée, based on Japanese short story Josee: The Tiger And The Fish, was written and directed by Kim Jong-Kwan and stars Han Ji-min (One Spring Night) and Nam Joo-hyuk (Start-Up).

New Year Blues follows the lives of four couples who must each overcome different fears and problems as they face the beginning of a new year.  The movie was directed by Hong Ji Young and stars Kim Kang Woo, Yoo In Na (Goblin) and Yoo Yeon Seok (Mr. Sunshine).

Rakuten Viki offers around 1,700 films and series from East Asia through either an AVOD or SVOD basis, translated into more than 150 languages by a community of fans. Owned by Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten, the service claims to reach more than 55 million viewers in over 190 countries through Rakuten Viki and its entertainment news site, Soompi.