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Tesco 'Digital Locker' Plans Multi-format iTunes Assault

Gordon Kelly


Tesco 'Digital Locker' Plans Multi-format iTunes Assault

If at first you don't succeed...?

It started with Tesco Digital, revamped the service into 'Tesco Entertainment' and now the UK's largest supermarket chain is hoping to finally crack the music sector with 'Digital Locker'.

Speaking at the Futuresource Entertainment Summit in London Blueprint Digital CEO Richard Bron told Home Cinema Choice his company is working with Tesco to try and make a major impact in the home entertainment sector by eliminating concerns about media formats.

"The way it would work practically is that when you buy a disc in store or online, that title would be put up into your Digital Locker which would immediately be accessible from {a} device registered to that locker," explained Bron who said the industry must focus on a "buy the title not the format" mentality. "Our idea is content anytime anyplace", he added.

Naturally Tesco isn't alone in this sector. Amazon's Disc on Demand service in the US gives customers access to a streaming copy of DVD and Blu-ray content they buy so watching can begin immediately. Tesco has also tried bundling digital files with physical media, to little success and Digital Locker sees it embracing the Cloud.

In short everything will come down to ease of use and whether Tesco is prepared to throw enough of its monstrous profits at the sector to truly make an impact. Then again it can be argued digital content is the future anyway, so if you really want to be ahead of the game work on competing with the likes of Napster and Spotify and build an alternative video-centric model. Then we'd be talking...

Source: Home Cinema Choice


June 14, 2010, 8:32 pm

Hummm... Buy a film and have it available to you in any format you want. This though would only be interesting should this this extend to buying the film and watch it in SD or HD - "as I own the film".

There is though a price difference (generally) between the two formats (DVD and BluRay) to contend with and I'm not sure how Tesco would address the price difference SD or HD (in physical media or it's digital format).

If my interpretation of their "Digital Locker" came to the market I could see it making a considerable dent in the illegal download market.


June 14, 2010, 8:56 pm

Well I guess this is some kind of progress; not a fan of Tesco but I suppose only they can afford to take the risk and try something on this scale. I have no doubt digital content is the future; for me the only question is: Do you want digital content that you can use wherever you want, whenever you want? Or do you want digital content that you can watch/hear on specific approved devices, once your device has been scanned and your credentials checked, and when the powers-that-be deign to allow you access?

Sadly I suspect the latter is what we'll end up with, rather than my ideal situation of DRM-free files. I also suspect the industry won't have to force it on us. They only have to tout the supposed convenience of streaming or downloading to your (registered) device over the "old-fashioned" methods of downloading and copying files, and lazy and short-sighted consumers will happily accept snooping and restrictive pratices. So while I can see some potential in schemes such as this, I remain very wary about how they will be implemented. Saying "focus on the title not the format" is all well and good, but frankly I care about format - and I'd like it to be a fairly open format where possible. Having DRM-laden crap but having it all in one place for the sake of convenience would IMO be one step forward and two steps back.


June 14, 2010, 10:07 pm

HDRE: It shouldn't be too hard to create a good price point for both SD and HD content. Unfortunately when it comes to renting or buying movies in digital format, too many services (in the UK at least) seem to take the approach of pricing at RRP, when it's far far cheaper to buy a disc in the shop.

I do find it amusing that the Internet initially allowed us to buy media significantly cheaper (having removed the overheads of displaying it in a brick-&-mortar store)... but now we have digital content (removing the overheads of keeping the discs in a warehouse) and this time we are supposed to pay MORE.

I can only imagine the executives' logic... "We offer people files they can play on a handful of approved devices, as long as they remain connected to the internet, and which might stop working at any given time - and all this for a mere £5 more than if they'd bought a physical product - and still they're not happy? Why, they must simply be greedy thieves who want everything for free - I'd better call in the lawyers and lobbyists."


June 15, 2010, 12:34 am

Is it me or do Tesco do everything! There like the Google Rival or something.


June 15, 2010, 1:28 am

Video Spotify model? Exactly what we're needing!


June 15, 2010, 1:15 pm

Interesting idea, shame it is being touted by Tesco.


June 19, 2010, 7:04 pm

It sounds good, but as you have to register devices I suspect it won't live up to it's promises.

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