German Electronics Retailer Media Saturn Buying UK Downloads Supplier 24-7 Entertainment

imageimageGerman electronics retailer Media Saturn is moving in to digital downloads by buying a controlling stake in British online and mobile media wholesale distributor 24-7 Entertainment.

Media Saturn operates its Media Markt and Saturn bricks-and-mortar electronics stores; operating behind the scenes. With licenses from over 12,000 record labels, 24-7 distributes music, ringtones and video to download services including British Omnifone’s MusicStation, all-you-can-eat Danish ISP TDC and mobile carrier 3 in Austria. 24-7 had already powered its new owner’s and download stores.

Can a real-world retailer expand in to online e-commerce? Media Saturn may just have secured a very smart piece of the underlying infrastructure in the growing downloads market, by taking control of its own distributor – we saw earlier this year how the collapse of Woolworth’s Entertainment UK distributor scuppered Woolies’ and Zavvi’s media downloads plans; Pinnacle Entertainment’s collapse also saw several online music stores come offline.