updated 02:15 pm EDT, Tue April 15, 2008
Tesco Music Store
British grocer and retailer Tesco today said it would launch Tesco Downloads, its own attempt at a digital music and video store. The service will follow the cue of Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other similar stores with a web-based interface and initially plans to offer about 3.3 million songs; about 1.6 million of those will be available in unprotected MP3 versions that should work with iPods and other devices that don't support the protected Windows Media Audio format of other songs on the store.
All songs should be available as MP3s by the end of the year, the company adds.
Pricing currently follows the pattern of most stores in the UK and costs £0.79 per track and £8 per full album; however, Tesco promises to tie the online store to its physical presence and will offer clubcard points for each download that translate to discounts either on other products or content at retail shops.
The store formally launches in May with music only, but is accessible today. Movies and TV shows will also be available later in the year, according to Tesco. The store hasn't mentioned its choice of format but is likely to use protected Windows Media Video files. No plans are in the works to de-restrict video purchases.