Facing greater competition from the likes of Amazon in both its domestic and international markets, Rakuten is looking to court advertisers by bundling up its retail data, media assets and tech capabilities into one advertising portal for the first time.
The Japanese retailing giant has just launched Rakuten Advertising, a unified platform that will allow brands and agencies to buy advertising across the company's portfolio of assets from one destination. This includes European streaming service Rakuten TV, messaging app Viber, US video streaming service Viki and French ecommerce site Rakuten France, as well as Rakuten Marketing's affiliate network.
The advertising platform will be powered by the company's retail data, programmatic capabilities, and consumer insights from its Rakuten Intelligence division.
Nick Stamos, the CEO of Rakuten Marketing and Rakuten Intelligence, has been appointed to lead the new division as CEO.
He said: "Through the unification of Rakuten's performance and data businesses and our new collaboration with our media properties, advertisers and agencies can now go to one place to access a rich combination of audiences, media, content networks and consumer insights.
"Bringing together Rakuten's vast reach and engagement capabilities marks an important step forward in the marketing and advertising capabilities we can deliver to our clients and partners around the world."
Rakuten Americas CEO Amit Patel added that the new offering will allow advertisers to "discover new customers and build enduring connections with them", which he said is "increasingly difficult in today's competitive consumer marketplace".
Amazon has a similar offering in Amazon Advertising, which has been drawing a lot of attention in Rakuten's home market of Japan. The platform, which allows advertisers to purchase slots across its ecommerce and media sites, is also the third-largest digital ad platform in the US.
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