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Tesco: Every little (effort to kill Amazon, Spotify) helps

Supermarket titan to flog ebooks, stream music

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With a £64bn turnover and £3.9bn operating profit, Tesco was always going to make a big splash when it dived into the online media delivery market. We're just going to have to wait a bit longer to find out what it will be doing.

The supermarket announced some new appointments and its new branding - but much remains under wraps. Tesco acquired 80.25pc of UK video-on-demand service Blinkbox in April 2011 for £3m and will use the brand to flog digital books (Blinkboxbooks) and digital music (Blinkboxmusic). The retailer snapped up music streamer We7 and ebook retailer Mobcast last year. Blinkbox itself will continue as an a la carte TV and movie streaming service with no subscription required.

Mark Bennett moves from Sainsbury's to head up Blinkbox music while Facebook's face to the retail sector in Europe, Gavin Sathianathan, becomes manager of Blinkboxbooks. Blinkbox’s Director of Advertising Scott Deutrom to lead Clubcard TV venture

So what of Tesco's plans to piggyback onto Ultraviolet, Hollywood's ambitious cloud service? Tesco already has a buy physical, get digital initiative for 16 million UK Tesco Clubcard holders, but this uses its own licensing arrangements rather than UltraViolet.

Last summer, Tesco's Rob Salter described UV as "too complicated" - although he didn't elaborate on which bit was confusing whom exactly.

"We're part of the UltraViolet consortium, and we've got the vision they've got - giving people access to movies they've bought, nothing has changed there," a Blinkbox spokesperson told The Reg.

Tesco has the clout to negotiate some serious deals with Hollywood, and with so many Clubcard members, Tesco can perform all manner of interesting experiments. When, that is, it eventually gets round to revealing the new services. ®

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