After the lamentable news that UK supermarket chain Tesco was about to simply shutter its Blinkbox Books ebook platform, with no buyer or alternative operator in sight, Kobo has stepped up to take over the Blinbox titles, and customers. According to the reports, Kobo did not offer any money to Tesco for the service, but the two companies are working together on a transition nonetheless, with a Kobo app for the Tesco Hudl tablet in the offing that will allow existing Blinkbox Books customers to transfer their libraries easily.
Those with unused Blinkbox credit, however, are apparently not having this transferred to Kobo, so whether some refund will take place is also not clear. With no money in prospect, Tesco is presumably doing this purely for the sake of its customers and goodwill. And Tesco’s street ads for an “ebook epiphany” are not going to appear quite so ludicrous.
It’s only to be hoped that Tesco and Kobo do a better job of the deal than Microsoft and Barnes & Noble did with the transfer of the Microsoft Reader service to Nook Books. Not all titles in readers’ libraries made the transfer, and overall the experience was not a good one. Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have since ended their partnership entirely.