Supermarket giant Tesco has acquired e-book platform provider Mobcast as it seeks to strengthen its digital entertainment offering, it has been announced today.
Co-founded by author Andy McNab in 2007, Mobcast is a cloud-based service offering more than 130,000 titles which are available to read on smartphones, tablets and e-readers, slowing readers to build a library collection accessible via a number of devices.
In 2011, the grocer purchased movie and TV streaming service Blinkbox and is currently looking for ways to entice tech-savvy customers following a turbulent few months of trading.
As competition in the grocery market soars, Tesco has seen its market share fall and was recently downgraded by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. Last month, it was announced that the chain could face fines of up to £200,000 following an operation by the UK Borders Agency which found a number of illegal foreign workers in one of its warehouses.
It is hoped that the strong reputation of Mobcast, which was recognised as ‘Best Mobile Book Company’s at the ME Awards two years ago and was selected for the Guardian Tech Media Invest 100 list showcasing upcoming technology businesses, will improve Tesco’s position.
“We want our customers to have the widest choice in digital entertainment,” Michael Comish, CEO of Tesco Digital Entertainment said.
“We are already one of the UK’s largest booksellers and Mobcast will help us offer even more choice for the large and growing number of customers who want to buy and enjoy books on their digital devices whenever and wherever they want.”
Last month, department store John Lewis announced that it is to offer Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader in stores, making it the first retailer outside the US to distribute the Nook as it looks to challenge the dominance of Amazon’s Kindle.
McNab believes that the popularity of e-readers highlights the importance of such technology and welcomed the new deal.
He commented: “As an author I always thought the ability to carry your library around and read on all your personal devices would be a huge benefit to all.
“We have developed a product that makes this possible, and being acquired by Tesco ensures that this original vision will be available to as many people as possible.”