Will Tesco tablet lead a new wave of content sales in the UK?

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

While various reports of ebook sales figures are testing the statistics skills of the industry, one thing that does seem certain is that this Christmas will again be a year where tablets are amongst the most in demand gifts.

In the UK, the recent entry into the tablet race by Tesco (The UKs largest grocery store chain with over 30% market share) is worthy of note. The Tesco ‘Hudl’ is an Android operated, 7 inch tablet with a retail price for as low as £60 (roughly $90) for those that have enough loyalty card points.

Early tech site reviews are generally positive about the technical performance of the Hudl and reported sales of 35,000 units in the first two days of launch indicate its potential for success. The price bracket puts it at the most accessible end of the market and means, as one reviewer wrote, this is a device aimed squarely at the 50 million UK consumers that don’t currently own a tablet.

The Hudl is not unlike the Kindle Fire in that it’s a great device for content. It’s family friendly in design and can access the full Android app store (unlike the Kindle Fire’s more limited Amazon approved store). A credible entrant into the market then, alongside other 7 inch devices such as the Fire, Nexus 7 and the iPad mini (now with reduced pricing).

The ever wider proliferation of devices is, of course, important to all of us in publishing and content. Whether your interpretation of recent ebook sales results is a pause, a plateau or a sign of a market maturing it’s tablets such as the Hudl, available at everyday prices, that will lead the next phase of growth in digital content sales.

For illustrated publishers that have invested in digital content, ebook conversion or app development, this is surely a good news story.

Expert Publishing Blog
James Woollam

About James Woollam

James Woollam is the Managing Director of F+W Media International, the UK business of F+W Media. After nearly 10 years in the advertising and direct marketing industry, including 5 years at Saatchi & Saatchi London, James joined F+W Media to oversee the launch of new consumer eCommerce businesses and focus on digital project opportunities. He became Managing Director in March 2010 and has continued to lead the shift from legacy print businesses to digital first and direct to consumer revenue streams. James can be found at www.jameswoollam.com or @jawoollam

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