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|Operating system||Windows XP (x86 only),
Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Mac OS X (x86 only),
|Type||Video on demand, TV, music streaming|
Blinkbox (stylized as blinkbox) is a UK-based video-on-demand (VoD) service available on Macintosh and Microsoft Windows computers, games consoles, tablet computers and Smart TVs. Content is either streamed or downloaded for free (paid for by advertising) or paid for.
The company was co-founded in 2006 by Michael Comish (he was Blinkbox's chief executive officer until June 2013 when he became Tesco Group Digital Officer) and Adrian Letts (chief operating officer), both former senior executives of Channel 4 and Vodafone. Blinkbox was launched in October 2007 with the backing of a number of venture capital firms.
On 20 April 2011, Tesco acquired an 80% stake in Blinkbox from Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners. It intends to use the company to boost its digital entertainment offering. The service has around 2.8 million users a month according to comScore.
Blinkbox has content deals with studios including Warner Bros., Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox and 16 independent producers including FremantleMedia, All3Media, Revolver Entertainment and Aardman Animations.
In 2010 the company signed a deal with the Samsung Group allowing films to be streamed directly though any Internet@TV Samsung TVs. blinkbox also formed a content partnership with YouTube allowing the site to carry blinkbox films on its new Movies section. The site is also the first in the UK to offer streaming film content through Sony’s PlayStation 3, and Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles.
In June 2010, Blinkbox launched the "Full Stream Ahead" campaign bringing together several film studios to offer free movie content for one week to encourage consumer adoption of streaming technology and demonstrating what the company asserts to be the advantages of legal streaming services over illegal file-sharing.
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Historically blinkbox combined a free and pay model to allow users to buy titles and also watch free ad-supported titles. In December 2012 blinkbox stopped all ad-supported titles and launched www.clubcardtv.com shortly after, in which users with a tesco clubcard can watch titles for Free, viewing ads targeted to them directly based on their buying habits.
There was talk in early 2014 of blinkbox offering a subscription model as well as their pay as you view model to rival LoveFilm and netflix, this offering should be available in September 2014.
Rental content can be streamed directly to a Windows PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Samsung Smart TV, and can be viewed any number of times within 48 hours. Buy-to-own content can be viewed without limit. The Blinkbox app is built into all pre 2012 Samsung Smart TVs. Content is protected with Microsoft's Windows Media DRM digital rights management and requires Microsoft Silverlight to play. Blinkbox cannot be used on Linux.
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- "blinkbox co-founder and CEO Michael Comish promoted to Tesco Group Digital Officer". Blinkbox. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- "Tesco takes majority stake in Blinkbox". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- Warman, Matt (2010-08-27). "YouTube adds movies on demand". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- Wray, Richard (2010-06-06). "Hollywood battles piracy with free movie streams at home". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- "Blinkbox Music: Tesco to launch streaming music service alongside Blinkbox movies and TV". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "WE7 - we’re moving!". Retrieved 2013-05-28.