Sainsbury’s Supermarket Buying Media Vault To Launch Digital Content Retail

J. Sainsbury’s is spending £1 ($1.56) million to buy Global Media Vault, a white-label digital entertainment distribution vendor, to power its launch in to online content retailing.

The UK supermarket says the acquisition will be used to add digital content to Sainsbury’s Entertainment, the site it launched in November 2010 to sell CDs, DVDs and books.

“Customers will soon be able to buy, rent or stream content from Sainsbury’s,” the chain’s group development director Luke Jensen says (release).

“The acquisition also represents a significant time saving when compared to building a platform from scratch ourselves.”

This is basically the same strategy as Tesco Entertainment, to which Sainsbury’s is playing catch-up.

There is much in common here with…

  • HMV’s acquisition of half of 7digital, which it did to secure its digital retail strategy in-house
  • Tesco’s purchase of 80 percent of online movie renter Blinkbox, which it did to offer a movie service on connected TVs
  • Amazon’s acquisition of Lovefilm

Sainsbury’s is apparently two-year-old Media Vault’s primary customer, but there are no fruits of that labour yet on Sainsbury’s Entertainment. It holds over three million songs, films and games (out of about nine million songs that have ever been digitised).

7digital, meanwhile, is opening up its virtual shop in the Asia-Pacific region, with stores opening in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, taking it up to 37 local stores worldwide.