Amazon rebrands Lovefilm Instant to take on Netflix
Amazon is rebranding its Lovefilm Instant streaming service in the UK and merging it with its Prime subscription service to create one offering, Amazon Prime Instant Video, as it takes on rival Netflix.
Amazon Prime currently offers members one-day delivery on purchases from the online retailer and access to half a million Kindle ebooks for £49 a year. Lovefilm Instant, meanwhile, gives members access to more than 15,000 films and TV programmes for £72 a year.
Under the rebrand, customers will now get access to both services for £79 a year. Amazon will hope that price can help it challenge Netflix, which charges its customers £5.99 a month, or around £72 a year and has seen revenues and subscriber numbers increase on the back of increased investment in content, including Breaking Bad and House of Cards, as well as improved marketing effectiveness, it claimed
The move brings the UK into line with the US, where the Lovefilm brand has never operated. The Lovefilm brand will continue to be used in the UK for the DVD postal arm of the company.
Amazon claims the merger is a good deal for customers because the combined package will cost 35 per cent less than it currently charges to pay for each service separately. Current Prime members will also gain access to unlimited streaming at the current price until their renewal date.
However, Prime members will see their annual subscription rise by £30 when they renew, even if they don’t want access to the films and TV shows. A number of people have criticised the move on Twitter, threatening to cancel their Prime subscription of Amazon increases the cost.
Lovefilm Instant members will see little change beyond the rebrand and will still be able to pay £5.99 a month, although they can now rent and purchase digital downloads of new movies such as Captain Philips for an extra charge.