Tesco will launch specialist digital music and ebook services later this year under the Blinkbox brand in a bid to ramp up its entertainment offering.
The supermarket brand will introduce the new services to go alongside its Blinkbox online film store that it acquired a majority stake in in 2011. The supermarket offering is being touted as a potential rival for the likes of Amazon and Apple.
The 'Blinkboxbooks' and 'Blinkboxmusic' sites will be run separately from the Tesco website but will carry its branding, and will be headed up by senior execs, Gavin Sathianathan – formerly Facebook’s head of retail EMEA, and Mark Bennett – formerly of EMI, Warner and Sainsbury’s digital entertainment respectively.
“Tesco is one of the UK’s leading retailers of movies and TV, music and books," said CEO of Tesco Digital Entertainment Michael Comish. "How customers choose to enjoy those products is changing rapidly as technology changes the way we shop.
“The development of these new services demonstrates our total commitment to providing the very best entertainment as easily as possible for our customers. They allow us to provide even more choice in how customers buy and enjoy their entertainment.
“I’m thrilled to announce the appointment of such high calibre digital leaders to these key roles and look forward to creating digital entertainment services that meet the changing needs of our customers.”
Sathianathan added: “Technology is changing how people read. Offering a digital book service is an example of what Tesco does best - focusing on the customer and anticipating their needs as the market evolves. It’s a great time to join a team at the vanguard of this shift."
Tesco previously acquired the We7 digital music service and folded it into the Blinkbox brand in 2012 after closing its own MP3 store.
Last year it also introduced a trial of Discs on Demand kiosks.