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Tesco to rival iTunes and Amazon with own digital content stores

Tesco has announced that it is expanding its digital entertainment portfolio with new music and books digital content stores appearing under the Blinkbox brand later this year.

The supermarket giant will be launching the Blinkboxbooks and Blinkboxmusic services later this year, rivalling iTunes and Amazon. The new services will be headed by new faces, after Tesco announced it has poached senior management members from other companies including Facebook and Sainsbury’s.

“Tesco is one of the UK’s leading retailers of movies and TV, music and books,” said Michael Comish, CEO of Tesco Digital Entertaiment. “How customers choose to enjoy those products is changing rapidly as technology changes the way we shop.”

Tesco has been acquiring digital entertainment businesses over the past three years, and now plans to consolidate those companies under the Blinkbox movies and TV streaming service it acquired in April 2011. Last year Tesco purchased music service WE7, now to become Blinkboxmusic, and ebooks company Mobcast, which will be repackaged as the upcoming Blinkboxbooks.

“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,” added Comish.

Head of digital and cross-channel at supermarket rival Sainsbury’s, Mark Bennet, has been hired to lead the new Blinkboxmusic service, whilst the position of Blinkboxbooks’ MD will be filled by Gavin Sathianathan, previously Head of Retail and EMEA at Facebook.

“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,” commented Comish.

“Technology is changing how people read,” said Sathianathan. “Offering a digital book service is an example of what Tesco does best – focusing on the customers and anticipating their needs as the market evolves. It’s a great time to join a team at the vanguard of this shift.”

Tesco PLC also recently announced ClubCard TV, its own internet film and TV streaming service for Tesco Clubcard customers subscription free. Also due to launch later this year sometime in spring, it is currently running in software development beta stages for Tesco employees.

What do you think of the Blinkbox service? Is its pay-per-view model more appealing than the monthly subscriptions of LoveFilm and Netflix? Let us know via the TrustedReviews Facebook and Twitter feeds or the comment boxes below.

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