Business News Deals Digital

Tesco looking to get shot of Blinkbox

By | Published on Thursday 2 October 2014


Tesco is reportedly looking to sell or shut down Blinkbox, its online entertainment brand, as part of a strategic review instigated by new CEO Dave Lewis.

The supermarket chain bought video streaming site Blinkbox in 2011. A year later it bought the We7 music streaming service, later relaunching that as Blinkbox Music. Adding an ebook service to the mix too, Tesco put the expanded Blinkbox brand at the heart of its Hudl tablet, which launched a year ago.

With the retailer’s profits for the first half of the year recently announced to be £250 million less than previously stated, and with the company losing market share in the supermarket sector, Lewis has been tasked with doing whatever it takes to turn around the company’s fortunes. And it’s possible he’s being told that one of Tesco’s recent problems has been over-diversification (HMV-style). Or maybe Team Tesco just all prefer Netflix and Spotify.

Whether Blinkbox will be split into its constituent parts or be sold as a whole is unclear. Blinkbox Music claims one million registered users on its own, though in an increasingly competitive market this may not be attractive enough to potential buyers. Earlier this year Bloom failed to find new investment, despite a similar-sized userbase and a similarly interesting business model.

According to The Guardian, Blinkbox co-founder Michael Comish, who was made Tesco’s Digital Officer last year, will likely stay on with the supermarket company after any sale.

Neither Tesco nor Blinbox has commented on the reports, as yet.