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25thframe.co.uk > News > Netflix arrives in the UK, LoveFilm drops prices

Netflix arrives in the UK, LoveFilm drops prices

By: Robert Hyde | Date published: 9th January 2012 | Views: 313 times
Robert Hyde

The company was started in the US in 1997 specialising in mailing DVD's to it's customers rather than having them go to a Video Shop to rent them, utilising the internet it revolutionised the industry and was the first nail in the Blockbuster coffin. Today the company still deals with mail order but also does big business with streaming video, and from today the service has come to Britain, over 10 years later!

Does the UK need Netflix? LoveFilm has no strong competition, so in the mail order sector, but streaming/downloaded video, maybe not. I can stream films from my PS3, my Xbox 360, my iTunes account, my Apple TV (OK technically thats through iTunes as well), my TV itself, even Blockbuster if I so choose, so Netflix I think is 10 years late.

So why launch Netflix now? It has the brand recognition, despite it being US only many many UK people know the name, in fact many probably thought the service was already available in the UK. Netflix are also a massive company making billions of dollars a year, expansion was only a matter of time.

I remember working for the biggest video rental company in Britain many years ago, the company was called Ritz Video Film Hire, Blockbuster Video had been trying to crack the UK for a couple of years, they were a massive American company at the time and thought they could bring the American business model to the UK, it didn't work and Blockbuster Video was failing, so what did they do? They bought Ritz Video Film Hire and overnight the staff who had grown to hate Blockbuster were suddenly working for them, I know LoveFilm is owned by Amazon.co.uk but I can seriously see them selling to Netflix sometime down the line.

At the end of the day as long as the customer wins who cares? Already LoveFilm have reduced their prices by a pound, but LoveFilm don't offer HD yet, Netflix had that advantage for the extra pound. I'm going to sound off now, I know these services are good value, £4.99 or £5.99 for unlimited streaming films is very good, but, this thing that annoys me is they don't have the latest releases, I want to see film when they are out on DVD/Blu-ray, not weeks later, I'd even pay a pound or 2 extra so i could stream Breaking Dawn Part 1 from the day it's released, I wont get that yet with Netflix or LoveFilm, for that I'd need to stick iTunes, PS3 etc.

I'm sure these services will get there, and for rental at least the future is in digital distribution, but for me Netflix isn't there yet, but still it is a welcome addition that I may use when they get same day as disk releases.

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