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As part of its bid to get its financials back on track, U.K. supermarket chain Tesco has been dismantling and selling off its Blinkbox digital media business. First to go was the Blinkbox video streaming service, sold to ISP TalkTalk earlier this month.
Now it’s the turn of the Blinkbox music streaming service, which began life as We7 (jointly founded by music legend Peter Gabriel, no less) before Tesco bought it in 2012. My former colleague Robert Andrews accurately described We7 as “a much valued, indigenous U.K. online music player,” but now it’s owned by Australians – the music streamer Guvera.
According to a statement, the acquisition (terms for which were not disclosed) will give Guvera more technical expertise and help it expand into western Europe. The Spotify competitor is already available in 20 countries and comes preloaded in Lenovo handsets.
Meanwhile, the third plank in the Blinkbox platform – ebooks – looks like a write-off. British book retailer Waterstones had been in talks to buy that business off Tesco but, according to a Monday piece in The Bookseller, those discussions came to naught. Blinkbox Books, co-founded in 2012 by author Andy McNab as Mobcast, will now shut down by the end of February.