Amazon to Merge LoveFilm Instant with Amazon Prime

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Amazon is folding LoveFilm Instant into its Amazon Prime service, and the question isn't why is Amazon doing this, but why didn't it do it sooner? Amazon acquired LoveFilm in 2011, around the same time that it expanded its Amazon Prime delivery service to include video streaming. While LoveFilm is a major brand in the U.K. and Europe, it didn't make sense for Amazon to keep both.

On February 26, Amazon will combine the two services, meaning that LoveFilm's streaming service will cease to exist and Prime will gain a lot of content. Amazon will now offer Prime for £79 per year, but it's enticing new customers with a one-week promotion where they can get a year of Prime for £49. The service also offers a 30-day free trial.

To compete against rival Netflix, Amazon is promoting its exclusive content. Members will be able to watch movies such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Hangover Part II,  One Direction: This Is Us, Friends with Benefits, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. Prime will also offer exclusive TV shows such as "The Walking Dead," "Dexter," "Vikings," "Downton Abbey," and "DesperateHousewives," and children's programs that include "Peppa Pig," "Fireman Sam," and "SpongeBob SquarePants." Amazon will soon launch original TV series, as well, hoping for the same success that Netflix has had with "House of Cards" and "Lilyhammer."

Since acquiring LoveFilm, Amazon notes that it has tripled the number of titles available, and added high-definition video and apps for mobile and connected devices. LoveFilm now offers over 15,000 titles. 

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