Tesco shops for blinkbox

In a move designed to position it for the next stage in the Internet-driven revolution in home entertainment, supermarket chain Tesco has acquired a majority stake in video-on-demand pioneer blinkbox.

blinkbox is the UK’s leading movie streaming service, offering thousands of titles streamed on the internet to 2m users each month. Their catalogue of more than 9,000 titles is available to rent or buy, alongside a host of free-to-view movies, TV shows and trailers, on PC, Mac, PS3 console, tablet devices and internet-enabled connected TVs.

Tesco has bought an 80% stake in blinkbox from Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners.

Richard Brasher, Tesco UK CEO said, that whether customers want to own the DVD, download a digital movie, stream a rental or all three, Tesco was 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. The acquisition of blinkbox, together with a range of other services currently in development, means we can link physical purchase of a product to the building of digital collections in a new and seamless way. Working with the blinkbox team and our content partners, we will bring these compelling propositions to life for our customers,” he added.

blinkbox CEO Michael Comish said the partnership would allow the service to bring the best in entertainment from its library of over 9,000 titles to even more people across the UK. “It’s a hugely exciting time, looking at how accessible entertainment is becoming for consumers. This partnership represents another step forward, bringing the leading movie streaming service together with the UK’s biggest retailer,” he declared.

blinkbox is the only service of its kind to have a combined free/pay ‘freemium’ offering, allowing users to stream paid-for feature titles alongside free, advert-supported TV and film content. Available now on PC, Mac and PS3 blinkbox will shortly go live on Samsung Internet-connected TVs with other tablet and TV devices to follow throughout 2011, including the YouView television service scheduled for commercial launch in 2012.

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