British supermarket chain Sainsbury's is partnering with digital entertainment provider Rovi to launch a new video streaming service. Part of the company's Sainsbury's Entertainment division, the service — slated to launch "later this year" — will be a rebranded version of the white-label Rovi Entertainment Store, which integrates with a number of content providers and rights management services, including the universal DRM locker UltraViolet.
According to a press release, new titles will be added to the store "often on the same day they are available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc." While the service will initially be available only through the Sainsbury's Entertainment website, the supermarket has plans to expand the offering to portable devices such as smartphones, as well as games consoles and connected TVs.
By moving into video streaming, Sainsbury's is playing catch-up with UK retail competitor Tesco, whose acquisition of Blinkbox last year heralded a mixed digital / physical ownership scheme — users of the supermarket's Clubcard loyalty card are able to stream selected titles bought on DVD or Blu-ray. Both companies also offer MP3 downloads, and Tesco's acquisition of music streaming service We7 earlier this year added another string to its entertainment bow.