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5 February, 2008

FiLM loves Amazon

Uh oh.  It seems Amazon is in the process of selling its DVD rental business to LoveFilm.

Unsurprisingly, they describe the shift as beneficial to 'film lovers', as LoveFilm "has Europe's widest range of titles to choose from, with over 65,000 films and games in its collection" (a headline figure which curiously masks the number of films alone, but never mind). However, existing Amazon customers will need to transfer accounts at some point, and I suspect I mightn't do so well.

Recent customers might be okay, but I joined in 2005, when different terms were available. Specifically, I receive DVDs on a six per month, three at a time basis which is no longer offered; the nearest current arrangement costs half as much again. I also qualify for the 10% discount on DVD purchases from Amazon which was offered in 2005, whereas that allowance was subsequently dropped (for new customers) to 5%.

Of course, if Amazon is shedding its DVD Rental service outright, rather than transferring administration of an Amazon-branded service to LoveFilm, I expect the discount on Amazon purchases will be lost altogether. I initially though that the convenience of being able to add an film to one's rental list directly from that item's page in the main webstore would go too – trivial but annoying – but LoveFilm's announcement implies otherwise.

Comments

According to the Guardian, Amazon are in turn buying a large share of the LoveFilm business.

So I'd imagine, nay hope, that the service offered through Amazon remains largely the same as it always has.

Posted by Neil T. at February 5, 2008 01:31 PM

'Fraid that seems unlikely. The FAQs at Amazon specifically speak in terms of "Amazon transferring its business to LoveFilm" and "transfer process", so this probably won't be a behind-the-scenes change which users mightn't even notice.

Amazon say that customers don't need to do anything about setting up accounts at LoveFilm "at this point"; further information will be provided "closer to the transition date". I read that as meaning Amazon customers will have to establish LoveFilm accounts, just not yet.

We'll see....

Posted by NRT at February 5, 2008 02:29 PM
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