Supermarket chain Tesco has been one of the breakouts in the UK eBook arena the last few years with their Blinkbox Books platform. The company had perfectly leveraged their points cards, scanned during checkout, to give big discounts on popular digital titles. The future of this platform looks to be in doubt as Tesco has just sold off their Blinkbox Movies business and broadband solution to Talktalk.
In a press release issued by TalkTalk they said “Blinkbox is one of the leading on-demand providers of pay content in the UK and works across multiple platforms and devices – both inside and outside the home. blinkbox’s established technical expertise in multi-platform, multi-device content delivery and incremental content relationships are highly complementary to TalkTalk’s existing strategyof being the best value for money TV provider in the UK, offering customers flexible access to the widest range of free and paid for content. TalkTalk TV is already the fastest growing TV platform in the UK with over 1.2 million customers and blinkbox will help accelerate the development of our platform by delivering a number of key initiatives significantly faster, such as offering a TV app to customers for in and out of home access to paid-for content across a range of devices.”
It looks like Talktalk had no interest in the Blinkbox books platform and there has been no word yet on whether or not Tesco will shutter this platform for good.
Normally digital bookstores hype their sales or issue press releases to inform the media on their performance. The grocery chain has never corresponded with any of the mainstream digital publishing websites and the only news they generated was last year when they were giving away 1,000 free copies of To Kill A Mockingbird. They normally just leverage in-store promotions in order to keep their shoppers informed. Right now they are running a promotion where if you buy a bestseller paperback in the store, you can get the digital edition for free.
The social media aspect of Blinkbox Books seems to be very active, with their Twitter account generating a ton of content every single day. Their online blog is updated semi regularly but the author events listings are woefully out of date.