Tesco is not a company synonymous with cutting-edge technology, but it believes its latest acquisition “positions [it] for the next stage in the internet-driven revolution in home entertainment.”
So what is this move? Well, the grocery giant has taken an 80 percent stake in the the UK’s leading video-on-demand service, blinkbox. Set up back in 2006 and launched two years later, blinkbox has grown to now offer a library of over 9,000 film titles. As well as paid-for movies, blinkbox offers users access to free-to-view movies, TV shows and trailers, all of which can be viewed on your computer, PS3 console, tablet devices and internet-enabled connected TVs. We even saw recently the Digital Stream DPS-1000 offering blinkbox streaming.
Richard Brasher, Tesco UK CEO pointed out that the company needed to give its customers a choice: "Whether customers want to own the DVD, download a digital movie, stream a rental or all three, Tesco is committed to giving customers choice. We want to allow them to decide how they access entertainment content and on which devices, whether it’s on PC, TV or tablet.” Brasher went on to say that this acquisition is only one of a number of services currently in development and will lead to a position whereby Tesco will allow customers purchasing physical Blu-rays and DVDs to create a companion online digital collection.
The acquisition of blinkbox by Tesco will undoubtedly make the service more high profile and will make it a viable competitor to Amazon’s LoveFilm. With streaming movies still very reliant on the quality of broadband available in your area, physical DVDs and Blu-rays will be around for some time, but Tesco is making sure it will still be in a viable position when streaming becomes the standard way of viewing content on your TV.