Tesco launches free digital TV channel for Clubcard holders

Online channel will allow loyalty card holders to watch TV and films online for free, while brands use customers' buying patterns to target ads

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Retail giant Tesco has launched a free, ad-supported online TV channel for members of its Clubcard loyalty scheme.

Clubcard TV is powered by Blinkbox, a video on-demand service in which Tesco owns an 80% stake. It will allow all 16 million Clubcard holders to watch TV and films online for free, and has a particular focus on family and child-friendly content.

"The reason we can offer great programming for free is because customers will see relevant advertising before and during the movie or TV show they are watching," said Michael Cornish, CEO of Tesco Digital Entertainment.

"We’ll use Clubcard data to tell us what might be relevant for our customers and therefore help us deliver a more personalised service.”

Scott Deutrom, a former BSkyB executive, is managing director of Clubcard TV. In a blog post discussing the launch, he explained that the service is both enabled by and an extension of Tesco's customer data analytics capabilities.

"We have launched the service with Clubcard because it means we can know our customers better than anyone," he wrote. "By using Clubcard, we can look at what customers buy from us, what things they like, and then make an effort to target adverts that are more relevant to them.

"Better still, we can target adverts based on what our customers bought yesterday, we can show that we are listening to our customers in ‘real’ time."

Advertisers including Kellogg's, Colgate and Danone have signed up to support the service, Tesco said in a statement today.

The service is available today through a web browser. "There are plans to extend the service to a range of devices including games consoles, tablets, Smart TVs, Blu-ray players and set top boxes," the company said.

Blinkbox will continue as a commercial offering. Earlier this week, the company announced that it is renaming its WE7 digital music services and its Mobcast e-book platform BlinkboxMusic and BlinkboxBooks respectively.