Supermarket giant Tesco has announced the nomination of three new managing directors to lead the company’s aggressive drive into the booming online digital entertainment market, one that closely matches what Amazon, Google and Apple are currently offering.
The company recruited Gavin Sathianathan, who was head of retail for EMEA at Facebook, to drive its new ebook services, Blinkboxbooks, following the acquisition of Mobcast in September 2012. Also joining him is Mark Bennett, who was until recently head of Digital and Cross Channel at Sainsbury’s and who will focus on leading Blinkboxmusic, a service that will take over from We7, which Tesco acquired last year.
Last but not least, the former director of advertising and sponsorship at Blinkbox (which Tesco acquired back in April 2011), Scott Deutrom will be in charge of Clubcard TV, the new free ad-supported movie and TV service.
Of all the major retailers in the UK, Tesco has been the most proactive to tackle the growing threat of US-based technology companies which have managed to capture a growing market share in the UK digital entertainment market.
Tesco still doesn’t offer the ability to download games (like Amazon’s Lovefilm) and its Blinkbox service is still a separate brand. Furthermore, there’s no audiobook (a la Audible) and crucially, Tesco doesn’t offer devices under its own brand (like Google Nexus, Amazon Kindle or Apple iOS).