British supermarket giant Tesco will shell out £4.5 million to buy Mobcast, an e-book platform provider, to make the most of the booming smartphones and e-readers market.
Mobcast, with a catalogue of 13,000 novels, provides cloud-based service which enables users to stock up an e-Book library without burdening a single device.
“We want our customers to have the widest choice in digital entertainment”, said Michael Comish, chief executive of Tesco Digital Entertainment. “Mobcast will help us offer even more choice for the large and growing number of customers who want to buy and enjoy books on their digital devices whenever and wherever they want.”
Mobcast is the latest addition to Tesco’s string of acquisitions in the sector. The grocer acquired Blinkbox, a movie and TV streaming service, in 2011 and We7, a personalised internet radio service in June 2012. Tesco currently uses Adobe’s Digital Editions platform, so consumers need to have Adobe’s software on their desktop or mobile device to have access to the e-book store.
Andy McNab, the founder of Mobcast said, “As an author I always thought the ability to carry your library around and read on all your personal devices would be a huge benefit to all. We have developed a product that makes this possible, and being acquired by Tesco ensures that this original vision will be available to as many people as possible.”
Mobcast was co-founded in 2007 by Andy McNab and Tony Lynch. It powers e-book stores for Orange and T-Mobile and for SingTel’s Skoob brand, supplied e-books to Nokia’s Ovi store, as well as other clients.