Tesco buys blinkbox

Posted: 26/04/11

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Just over 3 years ago I joined a little company in central London called blinkbox. As a start-up with a little bit of funding, no-one had heard of them and the unique selling point was in a thing called blinks - snippets from movies made by users with messages placed in front of them.

In the three years that followed blinkbox's team grew substantially, the product quickly became "The best movies and TV online" and together they identified the marriage of TV devices and the Internet as the future of home entertainment. Launching onto the PS3 and Xbox before its rivals, blinkbox continued to push existing consumer electronics devices beyond preconceived limits, and carving a new home entertainment market. As time passed and the economy constricted rivals such as Joost and SeeSaw fell by the wayside, and with the YouView project slipping further and further into the future blinkbox quickly became the largest and cheapest video-on-demand service in the UK. The market became ripe for acquisitions, and very quickly Amazon took full control of LoveFilm.

On 20th April 2011, Tesco Plc announced they'd taken an 80% stake in blinkbox, effectively buying all of the investors out of the business and leaving only the employees with shares. This was not only a vindication of the belief and efforts of the blinkbox team that Movies and TV on-demand over your broadband connection is the way forward, it served as a clear statement from Tesco that it sees IPTV as having massive business potential over the coming years.

Speaking about the Tesco deal blinkbox CEO Michael Comish said:

"We are pleased that our partnership with Tesco allows us to bring the best in entertainment from our 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."

It now appears that the stage is set and the battle lines are drawn. For consumers this looks to be a very exciting time as innovative businesses join forces with well-financed organisations to push the technology further than either of them could have done alone; the outcome being better services that are accessible to a wider audience.

Watch thousands of Movies and TV episodes on blinkbox

Keywords for this post: blinkbox, tesco, iptv, vod, video, movies, joost, seesaw, youview