Retail Giant Tesco Enters VOD Fray in U.K.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

"Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows - Part 2" waves wand for Tesco/blinkbox offering.

LONDON – U.K. supermarket giant Tesco, the world's No.3 retailer, and British video-on-demand firm blinkbox, is launching a bundled DVD and online copy of the movie to own to the retailer’s loyalty card holders.

The offer, which will see customers who purchase a DVD or Blu-ray bundle also own the movie online at blinkbox, is conjuring up Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 as its first temptation.

When a physical DVD has been purchased, customers are able to view the film from their blinkbox account at any time from multiple devices, the parties said.

Consumers will simply link their Tesco Clubcard with a blinkbox account and then any eligible DVD or Blu-ray purchased from Tesco will automatically appear in their blinkbox video library.

Richard Brasher, CEO, Tesco UK believes the bundle will kickstart a “digital revolution" in movie ownership and collections here.

Michael Comish, blinkbox CEO, said: “To be able to bring this truly ground breaking service to consumers is very exciting for blinkbox. Our customers already know that we are the number one choice for the latest new movie titles the day they released on DVD, so working with Tesco to give them access to both a physical and a digital version allows them choice and the best of both worlds.”

The service is a first for the industry bringing together the sale of a physical DVD product with a digital version bundled with the purchase, meaning that customers no longer have to worry about transporting discs with them.

Tesco owns an 80 percent stake in blinkbox.

The VOD market in the U.K. continues to heat up with the Tesco/blinkbox offering coming at a market with Amazon's LoveFilm and the U.S. VOD service Netflix, set to launch in the U.K. and Ireland early next year.