Thursday, January 20, 2011

The moguls at Amazon buy out "the Netflix of Europe"


Wall Street Journal's Ben Rooney writes, for TechEurope, that LoveFilm is Europe’s leading DVD-by-post rental service.

'Amazon already had a significant shareholding in LoveFilm, reported to be around 42%.  Unofficial reports put the cost of the deal at £200 million ($320 million).

The deal makes perfect sense for Amazon.  The company has all the bases covered now: books with Kindle, retailing mp3s and now video-on-demand with LoveFilm. '

  Actually, Amazon already has video-on-demand for U.S. customers.  I've found that many aren't aware of that.  This would allow Amazon to include much of Europe.

  With the U.S. video-on-demand program -- if you don't rent a video but buy it, Amazon stores a copy in "Your Video Library" on its servers so that you can watch it online if you want, from wherever you are, or you can also download it for off-line viewing on Windows PCs using the Unbox Video Player.  "Downloaded videos can be transferred to compatible portable video players so that you can watch your videos on the go."  Something I didn't know.  I also don't know the quality level of it vs getting a DVD or Blu-Ray disc.   A bit more:
' In just over seven years, LoveFilm has become one of Europe’s largest entertainment subscription businesses with over 1.5 million subscribers across the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
. . .
  Investors in LoveFilm are a pretty good 'who’s who' of top European venture firms [and] include Balderton Capital, DFJ Esprit and Index Ventures. '

Read more at the WSJ article

This is not about a Kindle-feature, but many of us who read on Kindles (UK: K3)'s probably tend to be interested in Amazon's expansion into the product areas of films and streaming video as well, whether in the U.S. or Europe etc.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

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  1. You'd think, with the phenomenal success of the Kindle as a content-delivery system, that Amazon would want to bring out a hardware-based content-delivery system for their streaming video and audio content business.

  2. Steve,
    Ya never know. But, re streaming video, over 3G it's useless and expensive.

    So you're left with something static already delivered to the unit or, at most, something that uses WiFi for streaming in limited areas.

    While we have really good portable DVD players, I guess we could use a really good software-file player.

    The iPad is one, so Amazon would be making an Android tablet if they wanted to compete on that.

    And guess what, it's been allegedly confirmed to Computerworld that they are.
    Amazon Tablet?

    Their Lab126 has been said to have hired people with experience in video software.

  3. I'm from Europe (but not from the countries mentioned) and never heard of the company.

    If they're only active in those countries, one has to wonder what that'll mean for their service once they're integrated with Amazon.
    Will they be limited to customers in some countries (like's Kindle store and every country specific iTunes store, the latter having come under scrutiny from EU regulators over being obstructive of the open trade laws within the EU) or continent-wide?

    Whichever way Amazon goes with them, they're diving into a huge can of worms, juggling EU regulators, movie studios, distribution companies, and IP law in individual countries on a highwire.

  4. Anonymous,
    Good points ! It won't be dull for them.

  5. Not to mention you need to know what you want to watch before you can watch it with Netflix; on the other hand, with cable you can just flip to any channel you have and watch it if you like it or change it if you don't.


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