Tesco, the UK-based supermarket chain, has taken an interesting approach in launching a free online video streaming service aimed at taking on Netflix.
Dubbed Clubcard TV, it is currently in private beta testing among employees and is set to launch sometime in the spring. For customers to begin using the service they must sign up for a Tesco Clubcard membership, which is available free of charge.
Some may question why a supermarket chain would offer such a service. It's worth noting that Blinkbox, a movie and TV streaming outfit, provides the service and Tesco bought a 80 per cent majority stake in the company in 2011. Previously, Clubcard customers who bought DVDs and Blu-rays were rewarded with access to the same movie via Blinkbox. Now Tesco wants to go a step further.
Compared to Netflix, which Tesco seems to be gunning for, Clubcard TV seems to be lacking a lot of content. Right now it contains the Batman and Superman movies, along with Care Bears and several other children programmes. That's not to say it won't grow over time.
Stateside, Wal-mart is soon to offer its Vudu service to customers who can convert their DVDs and Blu-ray discs to digital format for between $2 and $5. For general viewing, Vudu is based around a "pay for what you watch" model, rather than customers paying a subscription.
It will be interesting to see where the free aspect takes Tesco's service. At the moment, viewing looks to be web only, with no information provided on a supported mobile app.
Are you a Tesco Clubcard holder?