supermarkets are ramping up their digital offer - with Sainsbury’s set to launch video on demand imminently and Tesco unveiling plans for two new services and rolling out another this week.
Sainsbury’s video service, which is set to launch in the next few months, will initially be available on PC and Apple computers and will later be expanded with dedicated apps for smartphones, tablets, consoles and handheld devices.
The launch follows hot on the heels of eBooks by Sainsbury’s, which was rolled out in January after the retailer acquired a majority stake in online books platform Anobii.
Sainsbury’s said the new service would benefit from its relationship with film publishers through its DVD and Blu-Ray sales, which would enable it to offer some films ahead of digital subscription services. Last summer, the retailer licensed US business Rovi Corporation to provide video services.
Meanwhile, Tesco, which already provides digital video through Blinkbox, is set to expand its offer with new music download site Blinkboxmusic and eBook service Blinkboxbooks. This week its free video service for Clubcard holders, Clubcard TV, went live.
The Tesco digital services will be run by entertainment heavyweights including former Facebook head of retail Gavin Sathianathan and former Sainsbury’s head of digital & cross channel Mark Bennett.
Last year, Sainsbury’s was the strongest of the big four in terms of growth in sales of physical entertainment product, with 6.9% growth [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 23 December 2012], but has lagged behind Tesco in its digital offer.
In January, the Entertainment Retailers Association revealed that the digital downloads market had risen 11.4% year-on-year in 2012 to break the £1bn barrier for the first time.