Acquired by Amazon.com in 2011, the service had reached 2 million subscribers. It also claimed over 70,000 titles, and over 4 million DVD, Blu-ray or game rentals per month in five countries. Through a series of acquisitions, Lovefilm quickly became the leading online DVD rental and streaming outlet in the UK and Europe.
The company offered a download service alongside postal delivery but this ceased on 23 February 2009. The company also started a "watch online" service which offered over 4,700 films available to watch as part of a subscription. This online viewing was available for free to subscribers who had opted for one of their unlimited monthly rental plans or the unlimited streaming-only account.
In February 2014, Amazon announced that on 26 February 2014 Lovefilm's streaming service would be folded into its Instant Video service, and in August 2017, Amazon announced that the Lovefilm By Post service would end on 31 October 2017, citing a "decreasing demand" for the discs.
|Lovefilm International Ltd.|
|Subsidiary of Amazon.com|
|Fate||Folded into Amazon Instant Video|
|Successor||Amazon Instant Video UK and Amazon Instant Video Germany|
|Defunct||July 10, 2012|
|Christopher Cunningham, MSH; |
Jeff Siemanym Operations Director
|Products||DVD-by-mail; video on demand|
|Services||PlayStation 3 – November 2010 |
Xbox 360 – December 2011
iPad – September 2011
Lovefilm grew via 10 mergers, and the acquisition of several other on-line DVD rental companies – the three main ones being Online Rentals Limited (the original company), ScreenSelect and Video Island. Scandinavian Netflix clones Boxman, Brafilm and Digitarian were launched in 2002-2003 at the very same time as their UK-peers.
In September 2003, William Reeve and Alex Chesterman launched ScreenSelect, based in Acton in West London. And in the same month Saul Klein launched Video Island, based in Kings Cross in central London, with backing from Simon Franks' Redbus Films.
In June 2003, Ari Wegter, Lasse Stilvang and Joshua Mortensen launched Digitarian in Denmark while Mattias Miksche and Jonas Svensson started Boxman in Stockholm. These two firms established an alliance which dominated the nascent DVD-by-mail sector in the Nordics. The continental founder group played a critical role in the growth and development of Lovefilm in Scandinavia and Germany until exit to Amazon.
In October 2003, Online Rentals Ltd was bought by Arts Alliance Ventures, a family owned private equity firm. In December 2003, DVDsOnTap rebranded to Lovefilm, appointed Mark Livingstone as CEO, and relocated to much larger premises in the Spire Green Business Park in Harlow, Essex.
ScreenSelect led what became a clutch of mergers across the UK DVD rental industry. In December 2003, this began with the acquisition of In-Movies. In September 2004, ScreenSelect followed up with the merger with Video Island, which combined ScreenSelect's management and brand with Video Island's venture capital.
The year 2005 saw both Lovefilm and ScreenSelect grow rapidly as fierce rivals – with strong backers, these two firms leaped ahead of their rivals. Lovefilm reached 50,000 subscribers in December 2004, and shortly afterwards acquired the retail chain Choices' online business. By March 2005, it had reached 100,000 customers, and shipped almost 700,000 rentals. In June 2005, Video Island under the ScreenSelect brand acquired DVDs365 (owner of Mailbox Movies, MovieTrak and Qflicks) and a few months later Lovefilm acquired Webflix. Both rivals acquired a Scandinavian firm; ScreenSelect acquired BraFilm (a Swedish and Norwegian business), and Lovefilm acquired Boxman (operating in Sweden and Denmark). Simon Calver joined as the CEO of Video Island in July 2005.
By 2006 Video Island/ScreenSelect had outgrown Lovefilm, with over 200,000 customers against Lovefilm's 100,000 users. In April 2006, led by Simon Calver Lovefilm and Screenselect merged using ScreenSelect's management and technology platform, but with the Lovefilm brand, and moved the headquarters to Acton – ScreenSelect's original base. By the end of 2006 the Lovefilm brand had replaced ScreenSelect, Brafilm and Boxman everywhere except Norway – which followed in 2008.
In 2010, Lovefilm released their PlayStation 3 online streaming service.
In September 2011, a Lovefilm app for the iPad was released to allow streaming films on iPad devices. The Lovefilm app was also released for the Xbox 360 in December 2011.
On 30 May 2012, Lovefilm partnered with NBC Universal to bring Universal films to their service, and also announced that they would be bringing HD Streaming to their services.
In October 2012, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire HD in the UK and Germany, which included Lovefilm integrated into the Amazon Videos application, much in the same way Amazon Instant Video is integrated in the United States. Subsequent streaming application launches, including the Wii U in December 2012 and a revamped PS3 application in May 2013, demonstrated a markedly similar – and considerably improved on Lovefilm's previous offerings – UI design shared with Amazon Instant Video.
On 10 June 2013, Lovefilm announced that it would shut down its service in Scandinavia.
Up until July 2013, Lovefilm offered a video game rental service to customers. In July 2013, it issued a statement letting both new and existing customers know that this service would no longer be offered beginning 8 August 2013.
On 21 February 2014, it was announced that the Lovefilm video-on-demand service would be discontinued on 26 February 2014 and folded into Amazon Instant Video. The Lovefilm name will be maintained for the DVD rental business, although this service has been embedded into Amazon as well.
Besides its own DVD rental and purchase sites, Lovefilm used to run a number of such sites on behalf of other companies. The following is a list of previous white label services operated by Lovefilm:
Lovefilm originally used partners to advertise its services but started to run TV adverts from 2006. Since then, the number of white label services and partners had decreased, possibly due to increased brand awareness of the Lovefilm name. Since advertising on a regular basis on TV the company used British male actors for voice overs – Simon Pegg, Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy and Ray Winstone. In 2009, the theme song for the TV ads was "It Must Be Love" by Madness. Lovefilm advertised in multiple media – online, press, TV, train posters, door drops, promotions and even toilet posters in clubs, pubs and service stations.
Lovefilm came in for criticism from users over its claim to offer "unlimited" DVD rentals. Some users reportedly found the company used long delays at the shipping stage to reduce the number of films a month a customer can rent. In 2006, before the merger with ScreenSelect, Lovefilm was subject of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority over the use of the word "unlimited" in their advertising. The ASA upheld the complaint. It was revealed that they practised throttling, where high-volume customers experienced slower shipments from different warehouses and selections from lower in their rental list. They were also less likely to receive replacement shipments on the same day a disc is received. The company claimed that this "fair usage" policy means all customers get a similar service.
In late November 2009, Lovefilm stopped adding new DVDs from the distributor Universal Pictures (UK) to the rental area of their site. This made a number of films unavailable to users, including Public Enemies, The Invention of Lying, Brüno, Funny People, Inglourious Basterds and Kick-Ass. The dispute was resolved in May 2012 and Lovefilm offered for rental and for streaming post-2009 films distributed by Universal Pictures.
Axiom Films is an international film distributor and producer based in London.
Founded in 1997 by producer Douglas Cummins and partner Rocio Freire-Bernat, Axiom specialises in independent and world cinema, as well as documentary, filmed opera and dance.Notable films under Axiom ownership include Half Nelson, for which actor Ryan Gosling was nominated for the Best Actor award at the 2007 Academy Awards, In a Better World, which won the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards, and the majority of Wim Wender’s feature and documentary films.
Axiom is owned by UKI Investments and founders Douglas Cummins and Rocio Freire-Bernat, who also retain a controlling interest and act as managing director and director of acquisitions respectively. UKI is one of the largest privately owned investment companies in the United Kingdom, with interests in real estate, mining, agriculture, financial services and technology across a broad geographical footprint. Axiom distributes an average 10 theatrical releases and 20 DVD films each year, as well as online and digitally through LoveFilm, iTunes and FilmFlex.Balderton Capital
Balderton Capital is a venture capital firm based in London, UK, that invests in early-stage, technology and internet startup companies, primarily in Europe.
Founded in 2000 as Benchmark Capital Europe, Balderton Capital became fully independent in 2007. The company has made over 100 early-stage investments between 2000 and 2017, including Betfair, The Hut Group, MySQL (sold for $1B to Sun Microsystems), Yoox, Bebo (sold for $850m to AOL), NaturalMotion, Kobalt Music Group, Lovefilm, Globoforce, HouseTrip, Magic Pony and Carwow.Charlie Crane
Charlie Crane is a published photographer and director based in London.
Crane was born in London, England. His book 'Welcome to Pyongnyang' (Chris Boot, 2007) focused on his visits to North Korea with the help of North Korea expert Nick Bonner. He has won several awards for his photography including the 2007 Lucie Award, Magenta Foundation Flash Forward, Bloomberg New Contemporaries and British Journal of Photography Annual Award.He is signed to London-based production company Knucklehead and has directed broadcast commercials for brands including Howies, Hitachi, COI, O2 UK, TV Licensing, Twinings and LoveFilm. For his work in COI he won a Bronze award at the British Television Advertising Awards.DVD-by-mail
DVD-by-mail is a business model in which customers rent DVDs and similar discs containing films, television shows, video games and the like, ordering online for delivery to the customer by mail. Generally, all interaction between the renter and the rental company takes place through the company's website, using an e-commerce model. Typically, a customer chooses from a list of titles online and adds titles to a queue. As a customer's requested titles become available, the company sends them out. When the customer is finished with the disc, she or he mails it back to the company.Film4oD
Film4oD was a UK based video on demand service for Film4, from Channel Four Television Corporation and FilmFlex. Film4oD officially launched on 1 November 2010, following two years of development by FilmFlex, with more than 500 films available at launch. Film4oD has more new releases available to rent than iTunes, LoveFilm or Blinkbox, with many films available on the same day as DVD release and some on the same day as cinema release.Films are available for 48-hour rental and are streamed online using Microsoft Silverlight requiring a minimum broadband speed of 2 Mbit/s. A download-to-rent option was added on 26 September 2011, allowing films to be watched while offline.Global Video
Global Video plc, was a chain of British video rental stores, which ceased trading in June 2006, after administration and renaming itself. Before the company entered administration, it ironically changed its name to Global DVD. Global Video stores were largely concentrated, in both Scotland and the North of England.
After entering administration, Maq Rasul, the chain's founder, decided to give up running the business. In March 2005, Mr. Rasul was ranked in Scotland's Richest Asians, in a survey published by Sunrise Radio. They had some rivals, such as Blockbuster Video, Tesco DVD and LoveFilm. In April 2000, the company announced a major expansion.Finally, in 2006, after many stock had been sold off, the last store closed, after its last batch of products were sold. The store ceased to trade, and it was the final store in the group. About the closure, Mr Rasul was quoted as saying, "If I see one more Paddy Power franchise in my area, I'll kill everyone in it, and then myself."Hans Wiklund
Hans Wiklund (born 17 September 1964) is a Swedish journalist, movie critic and TV host. Wiklund has worked on shows like Bionytt on TV4 and Go C on Canal+, and currently blogs for Lovefilm Sweden. He is married to Emma Wiklund (born Emma Sjöberg) and has two children with her. He also does the current incarnation of Sweden's version of Wheel of Fortune.It Must Be Love (Labi Siffre song)
"It Must Be Love" is a song written and originally recorded in 1971 by Labi Siffre. It was also recorded by ska/pop band Madness in 1981.
The song was featured in the 1989 movie The Tall Guy, starring Jeff Goldblum, Rowan Atkinson, and Emma Thompson. Suggs, lead vocalist of Madness, also appeared in the movie while singing this song. The single was reissued to tie in with the film but was not a hit on that occasion.Kieran O'Neill
Kieran Lewis O'Neill (born 19 August 1987) is an English entrepreneur best known for founding several Internet companies.He started one of the first video sharing websites, similar to YouTube, when he was 15 and sold it aged 19 for $1.25M. He studied management at the University of Bath before dropping out to pursue business interests.He subsequently co-founded Playfire, the largest social network for video games. Playfire raised $3.1M in funding from prominent investors including Niklas Zennström (the founder of Skype), Michael Birch (the founder of Bebo), Chris Deering (the former Chairman of Sony), William Reeve (the founder of LOVEFiLM) and others. The company grew to over to 1 million users and was subsequently acquired by a games retailer in May 2012.He is currently CEO of fashion startup Thread.com, though little is publicly known about it at present. British Vogue included Thread in their list of the Top 100 fashion websites, saying the service offers personal styling online for free. In June 2016, Beringea led a £4 million funding round with participation from existing backer Balderton Capital and a number of angel investors, bringing total funding for Thread to around $16 million.O'Neill was born in Bermuda and moved to Winchester, England when he was 14. He currently lives in London.List of Xbox 360 applications
Xbox 360 applications are non-game software applications designed to run on the Xbox 360 platform. Xbox 360 applications can either be stored on the console's hard disk drive or on a USB flash drive. Often, an Xbox Live Gold membership is also required to access some applications, as well as subscriptions correspondent to the applications. Some of these applications are country specific.Lovefilm (film)
Lovefilm (Hungarian: Szerelmesfilm) is a 1970 Hungarian drama film written and directed by István Szabó. The film was selected as the Hungarian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 43rd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.Lovefilm is a film that is a cinematic imagery of the unspoken and untold aspects of love and hope between individuals. It depicts love between two childhood sweet hearts who continue to share strong bond and friendship through their adulthood though they quite do not define it as a love relationship for most part. They continue to refer to their relation as friends or childhood friendship or even introduce each other to their friends as 'like my brother' and 'like my sister'. It thus depicts love and undefined relationships that is experienced by most humans in their lives. Hence the musical and lucid title of 'Serelmesfilm' or 'Lovefilm'.Mad Love (1995 film)
Mad Love is a 1995 teen romantic drama film directed by Antonia Bird and starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O'Donnell. The screenplay was written by Paula Milne. The original music score is composed by Andy Roberts.Mike Young (Neighbours)
Mike Young is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Guy Pearce. He made his first on-screen appearance on 20 January 1986. Mike's storylines included being physically abused by his father, moving in with Des and Daphne Clarke, making friends with Charlene Mitchell and Scott Robinson, his relationship with Jane Harris and becoming a teacher. Mike departed Erinsborough to be with his mother on 6 December 1989.Prime Video
Prime Video, also referred to as Amazon Prime Video, is an Internet video on demand service that is developed, owned, and operated by Amazon. It offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and Prime Video, a selection of Amazon Studios original content and licensed acquisitions included in the Amazon's Prime subscription. In the UK, US, Germany, Sweden, and Austria, access to Prime Video is also available through a video-only membership, which does not require a full Prime subscription. In countries like France and Italy, Rent or Buy and Prime Video are not available on the Amazon website and Prime Video content is only accessible through a dedicated website. In some countries Amazon Video additionally offers Amazon Channels, which allows viewers to subscribe to other suppliers' content, including HBO in the United States.Launched on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States, the service grew with its expanding library, and added the Prime Video membership with the development of Prime. It was then renamed as Amazon Instant Video on Demand. After acquiring the local streaming and DVD-by-mail service LoveFilm in 2011, Prime Video was added to Prime in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria in 2014, a move that angered some Prime UK members as the bundling was non-negotiable with a 61% increase in subscription fee.In the UK, Germany, and Austria, Prime Video has been available on a monthly subscription of £5.99 or €7.99 per month, continuing the plan of LoveFilm Instant. The service was previously available in Norway, Denmark and Sweden in 2012, but was discontinued in 2013. On April 18, 2016, Amazon split Prime Video from Amazon Prime in the US for $8.99 per month. The service also hosts Amazon Original content alongside titles on Video as well.
On December 14, 2016, Amazon Video launched worldwide (except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria) expanding its reach beyond US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Japan. Among the new territories, the service was included with Prime in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Brazil, while for all other countries – for instance Bulgaria, it was made available for a monthly promotional price of $/€2.99 per month for the first six months and $/€5.99 per month thereafter.Ray Mears' Bushcraft
Bushcraft is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, India, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Romania and Russia. Following on from Extreme Survival, Bushcraft was first shown in 2004, and ended in 2005.Ripper Street
Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in the East End of London and starring Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, and Adam Rothenberg. It begins in 1889, six months after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The first episode was broadcast on 30 December 2012 during BBC One's Christmas schedule and was first broadcast in the United States on BBC America on 19 January 2013. Ripper Street returned for a second eight-part series on 28 October 2013.On 4 December 2013, it was reported that a third series would not be made due to low viewing figures for series two. Then on 11 December 2013, Variety reported negotiations between the show's producer Tiger Aspect and LoveFilm to fund future episodes, similar to Netflix funding episodes of Arrested Development. On 26 February 2014, it was confirmed that Amazon Video would resurrect the show. Filming began in May 2014. Series three began streaming on Amazon UK Prime Instant Video on 14 November 2014 but was not immediately made available on Amazon's US site. The third series began airing on BBC America on 29 April 2015, and on BBC One on 31 July 2015.In June 2015, the series was renewed for a fourth and fifth series. In 2016, it was announced that the show would end with the fifth series. Series 4 premiered on Amazon UK on 15 January 2016, on BBC America on 28 July 2016, and in the United Kingdom on BBC Two from 22 August 2016. The concluding fifth series premiered in full (six episodes) on Amazon UK on 12 October 2016.Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival
The Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival, more commonly known as Rushes Soho Shorts Festival, is a yearly display of short films hosted by Rushes Postproduction. It has taken place every summer since 1999. What began as a small series of screenings at the Curzon Cinema in London's Soho area, has grown considerably since its inception.Tank Top TV
Tank Top TV was a website providing personalized programme listings and recommendations for online TV and movies in the United Kingdom.
Tank Top TV aggregated listings from BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, ITV Player and Demand Five. Users could personalize their listings by removing programmes or categories they are not interested in. It also provided personalized programme recommendations, using a proprietary algorithm based on collaborative filtering. The Tank Top Movies site listed films from UK on-demand services including LoveFilm, BlinkBox, Now TV and iTunes.
Tank Top TV won the Business category of the Enfield Innovation Awards 2012 and was one of the 2013 cohort at the Wayra London startup accelerator.Tech Track 100
The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 is one of seven lists of top performing British companies in a variety of categories. Published each September by British newspaper The Sunday Times in their business section, the lists are compiled by Fast Track, a British research company. For the Tech Track, the top 100 private technology, digital media and telecoms (TMT) companies are ranked based on their average sales growth over the previous three years leading up to the award year.The Tech Track was first published in 2001 and a mention on the list has come to represent "a mark of distinction" for British companies. A place in the rankings helps to boost publicity. Companies that have previously appeared on the list have moved on to forge a strong position in the market, some even becoming household names.The most recent Tech Track 100 list was published on 16 September 2012, as a supplement in The Sunday Times, with title sponsor Hiscox. Previous title sponsors were BDO in 2011 and Deloitte in 2010.
|Brick and mortar|
|Defunct video rental chains|
|Former video rental chains|