blinkbox boost for UltraViolet

blinkbox – the video and music streaming service owned by UK supermarket retailer Tesco – has introduced digital movie and TV locker service UltraViolet to allow customers to build a digital collection from select physical discs they have bought in-store and access them via the service.

UltraViolet is backed by a consortium of over 70 companies including major studios Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, NBCUniversal and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with the purpose of creating a simple way for consumers to get the most enjoyment from collecting movies and TV shows, whether they buy physical discs or digital movies and digital box sets.

The introduction of UltraViolet on blinkbox means customers can instantly stream or download qualifying UltraViolet titles they have bought as physical discs on a wide variety of devices. Designated UltraViolet titles that customers ‘buy to keep’ digitally from blinkbox also qualify for UltraViolet rights including streaming, downloading and sharing with up to five family members.

Select discs marked with the UltraViolet logo purchased from Tesco or any other participating retailer can be automatically added to a customer’s UltraViolet library and accessed via blinkbox once they have registered and entered the redemption code that comes with the disc.

Customers can redeem an UltraViolet code or link their UltraViolet account to view their collection with blinkbox at blinkbox.com/ultraviolet.

blinkbox Movies and TV Managing Director Adrian Letts said the operator was delighted to support UltraViolet and offer customers even more ways to enjoy the latest movies and TV shows on their terms, whether they had been purchased in-store or online.

“This is about helping movie and TV fans on their journey from physical to digital entertainment while also offering flexibility in how movies and TV shows can be easily shared with family,” explainedTesco Category Director for Entertainment Ian Ditcham

“Tesco and blinkbox have been a notable part of the group of companies that designed and launched UltraViolet,” said Mark Teitell, GM of UltraViolet. “Now, their pioneering roll-out of UltraViolet in the UK is a major step forward in the enjoyment and value that consumers here will get from collecting movies and TV shows.”

Titles on sale in Tesco and available to stream or download with UltraViolet include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Bad Neighbours, Rio 2 and 300 Rise of An Empire.

Reports emerged at the beginning of October that Tesco was planning to sell off or shut down blinkbox, which has struggled to compete against services such as Netflix and Sky’s NOW TV OTT operation.

Tesco acquired an 80 per cent stake in blinkbox in April 2011, with the intention of using it to bolster sales of its digital entertainment offering.

Tesco is currently the subject of an investigation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority following the retailer’s overstatement by £250,000,000 of expected profit for the half year.

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