The supermarket has partnered with Rovi to offer an online, on demand streaming video, pitting it directly against streaming services such as LoveFilm, NetFlix, the recently launched BSkyB brand Now and Tesco, which through its acquisition of BlinkBox offers video streaming.
The service will go live later this year offering titles from major film and TV studios, many on the same day as physical DVDs and Blu-Ray.
It is the latest move in Sainsbury’s bid to become a digital entertainment retailer. Earlier this year, it launched an MP3 download platform. The supermarket then moved into digital books, buying a 64% stake in social network-style e-book retailer Anobii from HMV for £1. It also bought loss-making online entertainment company Global Media Vault in 2011 for £1m, which gave it a ready built platform on which to build its digital content offer.
Luke Jensen, Sainsbury’s group development director, says: “On demand streaming video is an exciting addition to our existing online offerings, and supports our customers as they progress from consuming content on physical disc to accessing their favourite entertainment on a range of devices, where and when they choose.”
Dixons also recently partnered with Rovi to launch its Knowhow Movies film streaming service. It is not clear exactly how the rival services will differ.