Tesco launches blinkbox books

Tesco launches blinkbox books

Tesco’s e-book platform blinkbox books launched yesterday (25th March).

The website sells hundreds of thousands of titles from a variety of publishers, which ranges from frontlist to backlist.

The price offer roughly follows that of physical books in Tesco stores, with books priced at around 30% off. Customers are also able to read part of a book for free before deciding to purchase the whole title, similar to Amazon’s “look inside” incentive.

The platform will be primarily aimed at Tesco customers to begin with and readers will gain points on their Tesco Clubcards with every e-book purchase they make.

Blinkbox books managing director Gavin Sathianathan told The Bookseller that the platform launch was “just the beginning” and that the retailer has plans to evolve the service in the coming months. “We passionately believe that the story doesn’t end when the book does,  and so we have plans to evolve the service in the coming months to further deepen customers’ connection to authors and help them discover the next story they will fall in love with,” he said. He added: “With blinkbox books we have sought to reflect and meet changing consumer demands, offering the latest books on the most popular devices.”

Readers can access the site online or via a free app for android tablets and smart phones and iPads.  

Michael Comish, Tesco group digital officer and co-founder of blinkbox, highlighted the fact that the company now had three digital entertainment services under the blinkbox brand name spanning movies and TV, music and books. “The significant investment in these services further demonstrates our commitment to meeting customer demand for entertainment on their terms in today’s digital, connected world,” he said.
Tesco bought Mobcast from Tony Lynch and Andy McNab in September 2012 for £4.5m. The service has been rebranded under the film and television streaming service blinkbox brand, which was bought by Tesco in 2011.

The music and television blinkbox services went live in September. The blinkbox app currently comes uploaded on Tesco Hudl tablets, which have sold around 500,000 units to date.

An interview with Sathianathan will feature in this week's print issue of The Bookseller, along with more details on, and reaction to, the launch.