UK supermarket giant Tesco has revealed that it has bought a 91 per cent stake in music streaming site We7.
The move is yet another bid by Tesco to increase its digital portfolio, with We7 nestling nicely next to online movie provider BlinkBox – a service Tesco bought back in 2011.
The share buyout has cost Tesco £10.8 million but it now has control of over 11 million audio tracks – and a decent music platform that offers music streaming and personalised radio functionality.
This is a shrewd move by Tesco and TechRadar reckons the company may do something similar with We7 as it does with BlinkBox.
At the moment if a customer buys a DVD from Tesco, they are entitled to a free stream of that movie through BlinkBox; there's no reason why the same thing can't happen with music and We7.
Tesco understands that many of its customers are still buying physical media, but services like We7 act as decent conduits to move users on to digital.
Speaking about the buyout, Steve Purdham, CEO of We7 said: "We are very excited by the prospect of teaming up with Tesco.
"With its loyal customer base, numerous marketing channels and international reach, we believe Tesco is the perfect partner to bring We7's music services to a wider audience. Tesco has been an innovator in entertainment retailing for many years and we look forward to continuing this innovation digitally."
Tesco's digital director Mark George hinted that there is some interesting stuff in the pipeline, explaining in a statement: "Tesco is already one of the UK's largest retailers of CDs; this move will help us offer a greater choice for the growing number of customers who want to access music instantly on any device, whenever and wherever they want.
"We7 has a great team and a good technology platform from which we can launch a range of digital music services in the future."
Tesco's news comes just days after Sainsbury's announced it is to acquire ebook platform Anobii.