Sainsbury's bolsters e-book offering through acquisition

High street supermarket chain Sainsbury's has added to its digital entertainment division by snapping up the remainder of e-books platform Anobii.

Having bought a stake in Anobii from HMV alongside Penguin Random House and HarperCollins in 2012, Sainsbury’s has purchased the two publishers’ stakes.

After the 2012 deal the supermarket built and launched the eBooks by Sainsbury’s retail site, allowing customers to earn and spend Nectar points as well as purchase film and book e-bundles.

Sainsbury’s now has full control of Anobii and will now, it says, offer customers ‘enhanced digital entrainment experience across film, music and books’ via the Sainsbury’s Entertainment website.

Tim Lennox, managing director of eBooks by Sainsbury’s, says, ‘This is the logical next step in our commitment to growing our digital entertainment offer for customers across film, music and books in a way which complements and connects with our broader Sainsbury’s business.’

Lennox, who will head up the new online entertainment business at Sainsbury’s, adds, ‘Penguin Random House and HarperCollins have been invaluable in our eBooks development and we look forward to continuing our great working relationship with them.’

More on Sainsbury’s acquisitions:

Other developments by the Sainsbury’s Entertainment division include a 2012 agreement which saw the retail licence Rovi to power a new digital video service providing on demand and digital copies of major film and television titles.

It has also previously acquired Global Media Vault, a white label online digital entertainment business that has a database of music, film and game assets.

Commenting on the Anobii sale to Sainsbury’s, HarperCollins group MD Simon Johnson says, ‘We’re very pleased to have been a part of this slick, award-winning site. We wish Sainsbury’s continuing success with it and look forward to maintaining our strong trading partnership with them.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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