Amazon to Close LoveFilm in U.K. and Germany on October 31
In another measure of declining DVD use, Amazon announced it will close LoveFilm, its DVD-by-mail service, on October 31 in the U.K. and Germany. Those are the only two markets LoveFilm operates in. As the online streaming business booms, DVD and Blu-ray use continues to taper off.
LoveFilm has 50 employees. Amazon will find all of them new positions within the company.
Amazon and LoveFilm have a long history together: LoveFilm was founded in 2002, and purchased Amazon's DVD-by-mail business in the U.K. and Germany in 2008. At the same time, Amazon took a 32 percent share in the company. In January 2011, Amazon took a controlling share in LoveFilm for £200 million, and then in February 2014 announced it would fold LoveFilm's streaming service into Amazon Instant Video. Today's news spells the end for LoveFilm.
“In the past years, a growing number of customers have made use of streaming services while the demand for renting DVD and Blu-ray discs has declined at the same time,” said a statement from the Amazon office in Germany. “We will therefore close down the LoveFilm DVD rental service on Oct. 31, 2017."
To entice LoveFilm customers to join Amazon Prime Video, Amazon is offering them £15 savings on a Fire TV Stick, making the price £24.99. An Amazon spokesperson told the BBC that LoveFilm's catalog of discs will be donated to charities.
In a move that many expected, Amazon is combining its two video streaming services. New members can get a year of service for £49.
Subscribers in the U.K. and Germany will get HD streaming, a watchlist, and improved searching.
While it doesn't disclose the number of titles gained, LoveFilm will stream movies from Scorsese and Tarantino.