Blinkbox Books
Blink and you'll miss it: Tesco bails out of ebook market after gaining just 100,000 customersTesco

Tesco's Blinkbox Books service will be offloaded to ebook company Kobo, as the supermarket's bid to rival Amazon attracts just 100,000 customers.

Customers' accounts and existing ebook libraries will be transferred to Kobo as struggling supermarket giant Tesco continues the shutdown of its Blinkbox services, which failed to lure enough users away from video services like Netflix, and ebook sellers like Amazon and Kobo itself.

This transition marks the last chapter of the closure of Blinkbox, following the sale of its music division to Australian company Guvera earlier this week, and the offloading of the video streaming assets to TalkTalk for a reported £5 million at the start of the year.

It is understood that Kobo stepped in to take on the ebooks business after a deal with bookseller Waterstones fell through at the last minute.

Along with the 100,000 BlinkBox Books, customers will see their accounts and ebooks transitioned to Kobo's service, where they will retain access to everything they have previously bought, and be able to buy new ebooks and magazines.

A Blinkbox spokesperson said: "Those who access Blinkbox Books on a Hudl [Tesco's own-brand tablet] will be able to install the free Kobo reading app on their device. We will be communicating the timelines for the transition in due course."

In a statement sent to IBTimes UK, Kobo confirmed the transition and said it is "in talks with [Tesco] regarding providing a solution for their customers."

An email sent to Blinkbox Books customers explains that they will see their accounts transferred over to Kobo in the next two to three weeks, however Tesco customers with unspent credit on their accounts will not have this transferred to Kobo. Customers who have a Blinkbox Books account, but have not bought any books, are being asked to create a new account with Kobo by 28 February.

Presenting itself as an evermore credible alternative to market leader Amazon, Kobo offers four million ebooks, plus digital magazines and newspapers, and sells a range of ebook readers and Amazon tablets. The company also took over customers from Sony when it shuttered its Reader Store early last year.

Tesco said the transition from Blinkbox Books to Kobo isn't a sale and no money has changed hands.