Amazon is preparing to shut down its Lovefilm DVD and Blu-ray rental business in the UK and Germany.
The company says “decreasing demand” for DVDs and Blu-ray and the dramatic shift towards streaming is responsible.
Amazon bought Lovefilm in 2011, prior to the launch of Netflix in the UK the following year. Lovefilm also housed Amazon’s streaming service, prior to the rebranding to Amazon Instant Video.
When Netflix arrived in early 2012, it did not offer the disc delivery it had initially become known for in the US. However, that lack of competition hasn’t been enough to keep Lovefilm as a going concern.
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In a statement, an Amazon UK spokesperson said (via Variety): “We have very much enjoyed delivering the Lovefilm by post service to our customers. However, over the last few years we’ve seen a decreasing demand for DVD and Blu-ray rental as customers increasingly move to streaming.”
The company’s German office added: “In the past years, a growing number of customers have made use of streaming services while the demand for renting DVD and Blu-ray discs has declined at the same time.
“We will therefore close down the Lovefilm DVD rental service on Oct. 31, 2017. We are planning to offer every affected Lovefilm employee another fitting role at Amazon. There are conversations about this happening at the moment.”
Upon Netflix’s UK launch in January 2012, CEO Reed Hastings said: “It was an easy choice [not to offer DVDs].
“DVDs are a declining business, that’s definitely true. But it’ll be a long tail; there’ll be people who like DVDs in five or 10 years time.”
While these words have been played out, Netflix (in the US) and Lovefilm served a worthy purpose for many customers.
Streaming has taken over, but renting new movies through iTunes or Google Play or through your TV provider remains expensive.
Lovefilm offered a way for customers to get the newest releases delivered to their homes, without paying £5-6 a pop for the privilege of a 24 hour viewing window.
Will you miss your Lovefilm deliveries? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.