Netflix, Beware: LoveFilm Instant Becomes Amazon Prime Instant Video in the UK

By Gerald Lynch on at

If you like your movie streaming services with added one-day delivery and ebook borrowing options, you're in luck. Amazon has announced that LoveFilm Instant is to be combined with Amazon Prime from February 26th, becoming Prime Instant Video, Britain's "largest subscription streaming service".

"We have something you can find nowhere else," Tim Leslie, Vice President of Amazon Instant Video for the UK and Germany, told Gizmodo. "We're Britain's most complete, best digital video service, and we're just getting started."

In a nutshell, it's all the benefits of Amazon's premium Prime service, plus an expanded movie and TV streaming offering. For £79 a year (a 35 per cent saving over the previous combined prices of annual LoveFilm and Prime subscriptions), customers will get unlimited access to 15,000 movies and TV show episodes, 500,000 eBooks for Kindle devices and unlimited one-day delivery on 7 million items. That's up from Prime's current £49 a year cost however. It brings the UK's Prime offering in line with the US service, which has offered video streaming for years.

For existing LoveFilm Instant subscribers that have already been encouraged over the past few months to associate their accounts with their Amazon log-in details, the changeover should be pretty seamless. It's just a matter of new branding taking over the old, across all platforms including games consoles. The same goes for those on DVD and Blu-ray rental plans -- so long as your LoveFilm account has been associated with your Amazon one, service should resume as per usual. Less than £10 a year upgrades a standard annual LoveFilm account to include the book and delivery Prime bonuses, but you can stick to your current video-only price plan if that suits you better. Existing Prime customers on the other hand can enjoy unlimited streaming at their current price until their renewal date. Prime Instant Video will also be available at a monthly cost of £5.99, just like LoveFilm Instant before it.

Taking the fight to Netflix, on top of the book and delivery bonuses, the new service will also offer digital downloads and rentals of 50,000 titles, including brand new releases. Amazon has also pledged to increase its investment in original content, promising that hundreds of brand new shows and movies it has commissioned will be made available exclusively through Prime Instant Video.

"We offer the biggest selection, and customers want selection," added Leslie. "We've got the most unique content, full of exclusives and original video you won't find anywhere else, with book borrowing and one-day item shipping, all in one package. We're delivering this to our customers because we're sure they'll love it. They've been asking for it. It offers convenience. Regardless of what other service you may have, you're going to want Prime Instant Video for all the exclusive content we have."

For the next week only, those looking to sign up to an Amazon Prime annual subscription can do so at a reduced cost of £49. Your move, Netflix.