It’s Lovefilm’s 10th birthday this year. Amazon has decided that the right gift would be a complete rebranding to help combat competition from Netflix.
Lovefilm was bought out by Amazon back in 2008, coming fully under its control in 2011, and will be folded into the shopping behemoth next week. The Lovefilm brand will remain for the physical, by-post rentals, but otherwise the name will be subsumed into Amazon’s Prime rental service.
Lovefilm Instant will be renamed Prime Instant Video. At present Amazon Prime, which offers e-book borrowing, unlimited free delivery and the like, costs £49 a year. Once it becomes Prime Instant Video, it will cost £79 a year. This is a bit more than Netflix’s £5.99-a-month model, which shakes out to about £72 a year, but of course Prime Instant Video (the name’s not getting any catchier however many times we type it…) will offer a lot more than Netflix, which mainly focuses on older shows and movies. It also means that Amazon will leapfrog the rival streaming service to become the UK’s biggest digital film and TV streaming business.
The changes, which bring the UK into line with Amazon’s services in the US, will kick off on February 26.