Amazon to shut down Lovefilm in UK & Germany

Digital-headerCD e DVDAmazon is calling time on its Lovefilm-branded DVD-by-post service later this year, citing declining demand and shifting viewing habits.

Amazon will close its Lovefilm By Post business on October 31, 2017 in both the UK and Germany – the two markets where the DVD and Blu-ray rental service is available.

“We have very much enjoyed delivering the Lovefilm By Post service to our customers,” a company spokesperson told TBI sister title DTVE. “However, over the last few years we’ve seen a decreasing demand for DVD and Blu-ray rental as customers increasingly move to streaming.

“Due to this, we will be closing the Lovefilm By Post business on 31st October 2017. We are committed to finding alternative roles for all Lovefilm employees within Amazon.”

News of the shutdown emerged after Amazon sent emails to Lovefilm customers notifying them of the closure.

Amazon said that Lovefilm users will not be billed for their Lovefilm subscription after September 30 and will be able to continue using the service until its shut-down on October 31.

The email encouraged Lovefilm users to instead sign up for Amazon’s Prime Video service and offered them a £15 (US$19.50) discount on the price of an Amazon Fire TV streaming stick – valid until the date of Lovefilm’s closure.

The move effectively marks the end of Lovefilm as a brand. Amazon took over the DVD rental and streaming business in 2011 after buying the 58% stake it did not already hold in the company.

At the time Lovefilm was available in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. However, Amazon pulled the plug on the Scandinavian versions of the service in 2013.

In February 2014, Amazon rebranded the streaming element of Lovefilm to Prime Instant Video in the UK and Germany, leaving Lovefilm By Post in these two markets as the brand’s sole remaining use-case.

Amazon has significantly upped its online video efforts since then, committing billions of dollars to licensing content and making original productions like Transparent, The Grand Tour and The Man in the High Castle.

In December 2016, the company launched its Prime Video streaming service in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.