'Difficult decision' says supermarket chain

Sainsbury’s kills off digital entertainment business

sainsburys-on-demandSainsbury’s is pulling out of the digital entertainment market and closing down the service from next month.

Its Entertainment on Demand service has provided customers with eBooks, MP3 music, digital magazines and movies.

“We’ve made some great progress and learnt a lot about the digital entertainment market. However, following a detailed review of our service we have made the difficult decision to close Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand and focus on our core businesses,” it says in an email to customers.

With immediate effect customers can no longer buy, rent or watch any movie or TV content and will be refunded for any content they have bought to own, as well as any active rentals they have.

The eBooks service, digital magazines and MP3 music services will shut down in the coming weeks.

It will be outsourcing its e-book operations to Kobo, the online bookseller and maker of e-readers, owned by Japan’s Rakuten. Kobo has already absorbed services provided by Tesco.

“We understand that this is disappointing news and are sorry for the inconvenience caused,” said the company.

Digital analysts say this is an admission that the supermarkets cannot compete in the market against the global players.

One said: “In short, the numbers just didn’t add up. Or, looking forward, it wasn’t worth the investment to compete with more popular and aggressive services, such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix.”

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