SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol to boost presence across Japan in major new Rakuten partnership for Nickelodeon

Published on: 20th April 2021

SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will each be bolstering their presence across the Japanese market thanks to a new partnership between ViacomCBS Networks International and Rakuten Group.

The long-term agreement will kick off with the launch of Nick+ – Nickelodeon’s kids’ streaming service – on Rakuten’s video on demand platform, Rakuten TV across Japan, covering mobile, web, and Smart TV devices.

The pairing will also include the creation of a dedicated Nickelodeon zone on Japan’s e-commerce platform. Rakuten Ichiba.

“This long-term agreement with Rakuten, a key player in the media and e-commerce industry, connects the world of streaming to the world of consumer products for the first time. The integration of Nick+ and the Nickelodeon digital storefront into the Rakuten Ecosystem will enable us to create an interconnected Nickelodeon experience for consumers and leverage strategic cross-platform promotional opportunities,” said Raffaele Annecchino, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International.

“This innovative deal is testament to ViacomCBS’ expertise in developing unique and versatile partnerships and it will allow us to explore additional collaboration opportunities outside of Asia.”

Koji Ando, Rakuten group managing executive officer and senior vice president of Rakuten’s communications and energy company, added: “We are very excited to partner with ViacomCBS Networks International to bring their iconic brands and top-tier content to new audiences through our streaming and e-commerce platforms.

“Through these new initiatives, families across the country will have even more reasons to engage with our services and enjoy the rich customer experience of the Rakuten Ecosystem. We look forward to building on this partnership to deliver even more entertaining content and initiatives in the future.”

Nick+, a subscription service, is planned for launch on Rakuten TV on April 28, 2021, bringing many of the most popular series from the Nickelodeon library to Japanese audiences. Kids and families will be able to watch on demand favorite shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Bubble Guppies, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues & You!, Deer Squad, The Loud House, Game Shakers, The Thundermans and more.

In addition to hit kids and family entertainment via the Nick+ service, Rakuten will host the first Nickelodeon digital storefront in Asia on the Rakuten Ichiba internet shopping mall in Japan. Showcasing a collection of select Nickelodeon products from multiple merchants, Japanese audiences will be able to purchase products featuring some of the brand’s favourite characters from franchises such as SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the new dedicated e-commerce zone on Rakuten Ichiba.

Products will cover multiple categories, including fashion, stationery and collectibles.

Nick+ will be available on Rakuten TV’s official site and mobile app, STB/dongle, web and Smart TV devices as of April 28, while the digital Nickelodeon storefront on Rakuten Ichiba is planned for launch in May 2021.


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