Tesco-owned Blinkbox hires Facebook and Sainsbury’s execs for Blinkbox-branded ebook and music services

Tesco-owned Blinkbox hires Facebook and Sainsbury’s execs for Blinkbox-branded ebook and music services ...

Blinkbox, the UK-based film and TV-streaming service that’s built around rentals and purchases rather than monthly subscriptions, has announced a handful of new recruits to head up its new content services that will launch under the Blinkbox brand later this year.

Remember that Tesco-owned Blinkbox snapped up music-streaming service We7 last summer for £10.8m ($16.75m)? Well, we knew it was probably going to happen, but it has now been confirmed that this is being rebranded as BlinkboxMusic. And what about its acquisition of white label ebook store vendor Mobcast back in September for £4.5m ($7m)? Yup, that’s going to morph into BlinkboxBooks.

New recruits

To head up these new services, Gavin Sathianathan, formerly Retail Lead, EMEA at Facebook will be joining as MD of BlinkboxBooks, expected to launch later this year. Meanwhile, Mark Bennett, who was Head of Digital & Cross Channel at Sainsbury’s, will be charged with pushing BlinkboxMusic, also expected to go live some time in 2013.

Elsewhere, remember we recently reported on Tesco’s new Clubcard TV offering, its free (ad-supported) Blinkbox-powered video-streaming service that’s still in stealth? Well, that will be launching shortly too, with former Blinkbox Director of Advertising and Sponsorship Scott Deutrom jumping on as MD.

“Technology is changing how people read,” says Sathianathan, who was responsible for leading Facebook’s adoption by the retail industry. “Offering a digital book service is an example of what Tesco does best – focusing on the customer and anticipating their needs as the market evolves. It’s a great time to join a team at the vanguard of this shift.”

Tesco bought a majority stake in Blinkbox way back in April 2011. Unlike Netflix or LoveFilm, users pay per title, and can rent or buy a movie or TV show to download (PC only) or stream. Only recently it launched a brand new Android tablet app to complement its existing Web and iPad apps.

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