Lovefilm becomes 'Prime Instant Video' in Amazon shake-up
Amazon is rolling its Lovefilm Instant streaming service into its Prime free one-day delivery service, for £79 per year.
Amazon is having a bit of a spring clean, combining its 'Prime' free one-day delivery service with its streaming video offering -- a move that will see Lovefilm Instant turning into Amazon Prime Instant Video.
For £79 per year, you'll get unlimited access to Amazon's library of more than 15 thousand movies and TV shows, as well as the company's free one-day delivery when you buy from its site, plus other goodies like the power to borrow Kindle books.
Lovefilm Instant previously cost a little under £72 per year (at £5.99 per month), while Amazon Prime cost £49. Amazon is keen to point out that's a saving if you were previously paying for both. As an introductory offer, for the next week you can bag the whole suite of services for a year, for £49.
If you're currently an Amazon Prime member you'll get Prime Instant Video access thrown in for free, up until the point where it's time to renew your annual membership, at which point the price will go up to £79. Amazon told me a streaming-only package will continue to be available, at the same price of £5.99.
The sweeping changes come into action on 26 February. Amazon Prime Instant Video has been up and running in the US for some time now, but is only just making it to the UK. The non-streaming, disc-rental portion of Lovefilm will remain in action.
The shows and movies available will stay the same as they currently are on Lovefilm, so don't expect a huge influx of new programming straight off the bat.
Buying and renting films
Amazon will also be launching its Instant Video store in the UK, meaning that anyone with an Amazon account -- including non-Prime members -- can buy or rent movies and TV shows from Amazon's more-than-50-thousand-strong catalogue. I asked what the typical price of a movie or TV show would be, but was just told that Amazon would have 'the most competitive prices.'
Kindle Fire gets more useful
Until now, Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet has been hampered in the UK, by an inability to download movies for offline viewing. The addition of Instant Video means you'll soon be able to download movies and TV shows to your Amazon tablet.
Prime Instant Video will compete with Netflix for your streaming-video cash. Netflix recently kicked off series two of its acclaimed House of Cards series -- Amazon has vowed to offer customers another round of exclusive pilots, the most popular of which will be made into a fully-fledged show.
Will you happily pay £79 for Amazon's clutch of Prime services, or is it too much cash to splash? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.