Warner Bros is continuing its big online video moves with a new partnership with LOVEFiLM, a leading European film subscription service, combining the benefits of DVD rental by post and, more recently, watching movies online via the LOVEFiLM Player. Something like the European Netflix.
They've created what they call an exclusive second window subscription pay TV deal. Warner Bros.' recent and forthcoming film releases will be added to LOVEFiLM's Watch Online service through the LOVEFiLM Player, either on the PC or accessible via Sony PlayStation 3, Apple iPad, a growing number of web-enabled TV sets and Blu-ray players, and later this year Microsoft Xbox 360.
The Dark Knight & Other Warner Bros Films Exclusive To LOVEFiLM
Movies exclusively available at the start of the deal in December will include The Dark Knight, The Hangover, Gran Torino and Sex and the City 2. And, in the coming months and years, LOVEFiLM customers, who subscribe to streaming as part of their package, will be able to instantly watch a regular flow of Warner Bros.' recent movies.
This is a big deal, Warner Bros was one of those companies that seemed to be holding back in online video and this year has exploded on several fronts and their major franchises are now coming to online everywhere. Way to go WB!
The deal continues to make the studio's film releases available for purchase or rent digitally; via LOVEFiLM's DVD and Blu-ray subscription rental service, through which DVDs and Blu-rays will be available by post 60 days after retail release, from 2012; and via Warner Bros.' branded SVOD channel, WarnerFilms.
Scheduled by Warner Bros. and offering a great selection of recent and classic movies from Warner Bros.' portfolio of titles, WarnerFilms provides 24 hours a day on-demand access to 28 movies at any one time with seven new titles added every week. Do they do that anywhere here in the US? I'll have to go hunting I think.
LOVEFiLM is owned by Amazon EU SARL, their Player is available on over 175 Internet-enabled devices – including Sony, Samsung, PS3 and the iPad.
In the UK offerings include £4.99 a month allowing members to have one DVD at a time (limit of two per month. Does not include online viewing), £5.99 a month for one DVD at a time (limit of three per month plus 2 hours online viewing), £8.16 for two DVDs at a time (limit of four per month plus 4 hours online viewing), £9.99 a month for two DVDs out at a time (Unlimited DVDs by post and unlimited online viewing) and £13.27 for three DVDs at a time (Unlimited DVDs by post and unlimited online viewing). Members on an Unlimited package have access to the LOVEFiLM Player at no extra cost.
LOVEFiLM also offers a range of video games rental options in the UK market to support gaming across Xbox 360, Xbox, PS3, PS2, Wii and DS. These include £5.99 a month for one disc at a time (limit of two per month. Does not include online viewing), £11.22 a month for two discs at a time (Unlimited discs by post and unlimited online viewing) and £14.99 a month for three discs at a time (Unlimited discs by post and unlimited online viewing), all with free postage and no late fees.
So it seems that Amazon has leapfrogged Netflix and gone straight for the jugular, they're almost like the shark now hanging about in international waters saying "come on in, the water's fine (and ours)."
I think this is actually Amazon leveraging their existing infrastructure and they obviously demonstrated to Warner Bros that they can securely and efficiently get their content to subscribers to help expand the bottom line.