back to article Amazon fuses LoveFilm, subs service, calls it Prime Instant Video

Amazon has decided to fold its Prime delivery service into its LoveFilm Instant video streaming library to make a single Prime Instant Video subscription for Brits. Subscribers paying £79 a year will now get free one-day delivery on participating items when shopping at the online bazaar and access to Kindle books from Prime, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh

    Never really been impressed by either Netflix or Loveflim Instant.

    I do however really enjoy Loveflim Disks by Post, amazing content, and comes included with Instant on the offchance something worthwhile is there.

    This is why I laugh at all the talk of Netflix and Loveflim Instant... Both chock full of ancient dross.

    1. Semtex451

      Re: Meh

      Agreed, and if we can get free delivery from Prime on top of disk rental in the post, then this is good news.

      Not that Meh, after all?

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        Doesn't appear to be any option for disk rental which is a shame. We use lovefilm instant, but do have the 1 disk in the post option. Looks like I'll just keep ignoring Amazon prime and stick with current system. Not sure how valuable next day delivery is any way. Easy enough to wait most times.

    2. Lee D

      Re: Meh

      I keep considering signing up for one of these services. And the Amazon idea is tempting. They just don't give me anywhere near enough information to go on. What precisely do they have or not have? What are they going to have / not have in the future?

      And, to be honest, I'm not sure I'd get my money's worth anyway. I'm sure Netflix, Lovefilm et al are great. I'm sure 20 years ago I would have killed for them. But my personal preferences now are actually for old junk that I've seen a million times. Apart from a series once every few years, I don't actually watch new content. I haven't been to the cinema in years.

      I'd rather catch an episode and then, if I enjoy it, just buy the boxset of every episode ever made. It's just easier, cheaper, less hassle. The beauty of on-demand stuff is really that I don't have to wait for something to pop up and trial it, and that I can just leave it until all the series are out on DVD and then "trial" it - at my convenience - long enough to see if it's worth buying every episode of it. You used to have to wait for scheduled runs, etc. to do that, and sit through tons of other junk.

      To be honest, I'd much rather pay TheBigBangTheory.com for the rights to watch every episode myself, than subscribe to one of these kinds of services. I'm just not sure I'd ever get my money's worth and I'd much rather the people who made the programmes got more of my money than the people who sell on other people's stuff, or the guy who prints out a fancy DVD cover.

      Someone really needs to get a popular show like that (seems perfect, given the geek-based audience) and then - after a successful series run - just make and sell the episodes direct to the public without all the middle-men.

      But if the product is just access to a handful of films that are lingering between cinema and DVD releases anyway, and some "boxsets" that eat into my data allowances and can't really be viewed offline, I can't see that it's worthwhile.

      What am I missing people?

      1. jai

        Re: Meh

        I keep considering signing up for one of these services

        I think all of them offer a free period at the start. Like 2 weeks for free or something. So you could easily sign up and try it for a weekend. You'll be able to see everything they have to offer. Just remember to cancel it at the end of the weekend if you decide it's not for you. Then the next weekend, try the other one and see if they have a better selection.

        1. Lee D

          Re: Meh

          "Free" is not free if I have to put in a credit card number at any point.

          1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

            Re: Meh

            ""Free" is not free if I have to put in a credit card number at any point."

            Free means it doesn't cost you any money. If you cancel before the end of the trial your card isn't charged so it is free. Pretty simple to understand really.

            1. NotWorkAdmin

              Re: Meh

              Don't recall being asked for card details for the free month on Netflix. Just an email address.

              Netflix will work if you want to watch something, but not if you want something specific. To put that another way, I always find something worth watching. Were it not for the wife, I'd ditch the license fee and stop watching live TV altogether.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meh

        PAYG - much as I hate who owns it, Blinkbox is great for films because there's no subscription - just pay to rent when you want it. Like Blockbuster without having to endure the dodgy customers and surly staff...

    3. Adam T

      Re: Meh

      I've had LoveFilm for years now, and get 4 disks at once. Also have Netflix - big bonus, you can watch U.S. netflix on your UK account (just drop in a chrome extension).

      I don't order disks anymore simply because I don't have time to watch them - I may get through two or three a month, whereas streamed stuff I'll watch from wherever, sometimes in the background while I'm working.

      When Netflix first came out over here I pooh-pooh'd it because of the thin catalogue. Since then they've grown enormously... I finally signed up when Orange Is The New Black came up, and loved the service for about a year. It's easy to get through what you want to watch quite quickly though... there's not a lot on there for me now.

      So as a Prime member, I'm up for the Instant LoveFilm. Costs a bit less, and I'll pretty much save double by ditching Lovefilm By Post. Just enough, in fact, to keep Netflix on the go.

      Post is good - you can't beat a proper BluRay. But life is changing, spurred on by the times.

    4. Fred Fallacy

      Re: Meh

      Yes, I love the convenience of waiting a day or two for discs, and having to return them. I can't stand the soul-crushingly unbearable chore of streaming them directly.

      1. Fuzz

        Re: Meh

        seems to be some confusion here

        Lovefilm by post = huge selection, pretty much any movie you want

        Lovefilm instant = poor selection of both old and new films

        If lovefilm instant had the selection of lovefilm by post, I'd sign up straight away, and I'd pay more than £5.99 a month. For £15 a month you can get a cineworld cinema pass that lets you watch every film that gets shown in the cinema. It should be possible to produce a streaming service that does the same and includes old films.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          The only problem I have with the postal versions is with the DVD box-sets, as they count each disc as a single rental. Hence for a normal box (4-6 discs or so) you can't just rent the whole thing at once, you've got at least a couple of days gap in the middle whilst the first pair go back and the second arrive (presuming your subscription is for enough discs to cover what you need).

          I was going to go for the upper level of the subscription, but ended up with the lower one (2 discs a month, one at a time) to drip-feed the recent cinema releases. And for the box-sets, my local library (and it's sister libraries in the area) have quite a reasonable stock of box sets which can be rented for a week for £2 (last weekend was a Boardwalk Empire weekend).

  2. HollyHopDrive

    I love prime and think its worth every penny. However, the reason I've never taken out a lovefilm subscription is because it doesn't support android. (kindle fire doesn't count, you can't connect one to the telly with a cable as far as I can tell)

    Given I a) don't want to buy a new TV b) pay the microsoft tax [xbox live] to allow my Xbox to access the internet [the sole reason I will never buy another xbox ever!!!] c) buy an ipad (personal thing this but I prefer android and given we as a family have now got 4 android tablets I don't see the need for another one just to watch a film)

    I can only see me cancelling my prime account now, can't say its worth £80 a year to me.

    Hey-ho, still got 6 months left and still enough episodes of breaking bad on netflix to keep me going.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      "kindle fire doesn't count, you can't connect one to the telly with a cable as far as I can tell"

      Don't know about the rest, but my son's Fire HD certainly does connect to the telly with a cable. Not that he uses it for that, if he uses lovefilm he does so through his game console which is permanently connected to the TV.

  3. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

    Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

    I paid for Amazon's Prime service for a year and most of my orders arrived after 2-3 days. Many took up to 5 days. One delivery of an in-stock item took nearly two weeks to arrive with Prime. When I complained, I was ignored.

    I wonder if this means it'll now take two weeks to stream a movie...

    1. R 11

      Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

      That's strange. In the US, Prime has been very reliable. Whenever a delivery has been late - other than for weather related reasons - I've received a very quick apology and usually a credit of something like $5.

      I can't understand why the customer service in the UK would be so different.

      1. Richard Jones 1

        Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

        It is not in my experience I usually get next day, that is I get it next day. The only exception is out of stock items or the subscription items.

        As for their complaints service I have had two recent failures, 1 the delivery was refused due to transit damage. The delivery person said "I do not want to show this to you please refuse it I am embarrassed to show you." I refused the delivery and ten minutes later when I rang Amazon, they said, Oh yes sorry about that I can see you refused delivery I will replace that item now and they did!

        The other item was returned as a duplicated order, (slightly long story but down to user error) half an hour after presentation to the carrier it was on the Amazon system and the credit was being processed.

        I've been using Prime for several years and been very happy, its great for spare parts you need quickly.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

      We had it for a year and a bit and ordered dozens (literally) of things. When we ordered before mid-afternoon, I'd say about 3-5 items didn't arrive the next day, and 1 item took longer than two days.

      I have also NEVER heard of Amazon ignoring complaints. I've had them phone me back within two minutes of lodging a complaint on their website to sort it out.

    3. Goldmember

      Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

      I've had it (in the UK) since before Crimbo, as I used the trial to order presents I forgot about, quick time. I forgot to cancel and auto paid the £50. I've used it around 5-6 times since then, sometimes ordering an hour or two before the deadline, and everything has arrived the next day, mostly before 1pm.

      Although to be fair, it could have something to do with the couriers. The Prime stuff tends to arrive with "man and van" types as opposed to Royal Mail (they listed them as "Amazon local couriers" or something when I looked at the order history). Which is a good thing, in my experience.

      It's slightly annoying that I already have the £7.99 Lovelfilm DVD/ instant subscription though. Could have combined and saved some cash...

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

        Never had a problem with Prime delivery. Nor do I know anybody else who has.

    4. safe cycling?

      Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

      Odd - the only parcels that didn't arrive for me were the ones sent via Royal Mail. Phone up and complain and they give you a month free subscription.

    5. Tom Richardson

      Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

      Strange, all my Prime deliveries turn up next day and the Amazon Logistics delivery guys are really good, making the effort to do stuff like leave packages with the neighbours if applicable. I even had a call from one of them once offering to bring my package to work for me because it needed signing for.

    6. Fuzz

      Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

      as above, I've never had a problem with prime. They've even started delivering items on Sunday that you ordered on Saturday.

  4. Andrew Jones 2

    Considering Amazon's streaming service is in competition with Netflix - you would think Amazon would do more to make themselves competitive - like - be available on my device for instance.

    I can watch Netflix pretty much anywhere on any device I own:

    Computer, Android phone, Android tablet, Panasonic freeview box, Bluray player, Chromecast

    I can watch Amazon / Lovefilm on the computer ONLY.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      LoveFilm supports lots of devices. Clearly just not yours. Maybe they've done analysis and found that while Android has the biggest market share, console & iOS owners are the ones who represent the bulk of the people willing to pay for their services.

      1. James 51

        They don't support android because it would kill the only reason to buy a kindle fire and that's the lovefilm app.

      2. lurker

        Netflix is definitely supported on a far wider range of devices, especially when you take into consideration media streamers and the like.

        I doubt that it is actually a case of Amazon wanting their product to have a more limited audience, the issue is likely that it's having to rewrite a lot of it having gone down a dead-end technology branch in the form of MS silvershite.

        1. James 51

          The email I got from them said it was a studio decision. Really annoyed me as I'd just bought a playbook and my laptop was lunix so couldn't watch it on either.

    2. Goldmember

      It's because it needs silverlight.

      You'd think they would improve the website though, it's pretty crap. I know a few customers they've lost due to that alone.

      However, the PS3 Lovefilm app is brilliant.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rather disappointed with Lovefilm

      Just started a trial of Lovefilm instant and I have to say its a massive disappointment. Been on Netflix for over a year now and am very happy with the service. Netflix plays on all my devices (Lovefilm only on my Blu-ray and PC), has 5.1 surround, better HD picture quality and it uses less bandwidth on my Internet connection. You can also access Netflix USA using a simple DNS bodge.

      I won't be keeping up my Lovefilm subscription. Will be keeping up Netflix though. A far better service.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Re: Rather disappointed with Lovefilm

        "I won't be keeping up my Lovefilm subscription. Will be keeping up Netflix though. A far better service."

        So you're paying for two competing services? You'll be telling me next you've got Sky and Virgin. Odd.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rather disappointed with Lovefilm

          I believe I said I had started a trial with Lovefilm so I could compare it with Netflix. Lovefilm was found wanting and so I've cancelled it. Didn't cost me a penny.

          I think you should go to Specsavers then you'd be able to read the words properly.

          If the two services had good yet different content then what's wrong with subscribing to both anyway ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a Linux user, what are Netflix. Lovefilm?

    1. Thecowking

      As another Linux user, I can tell you they're video streaming services. It's not like you can't run Netflix in Linux.

      https://launchpad.net/~ehoover/+archive/compholio/

      You can even get Lovefilm in there too, it's a little wine container that lets silverlight run. Works pretty well.

      I'm assuming you were being a facetious troll, but it might help others who would like to use these services. (I use Netflix far too much).

      1. James 51

        Will have to give that a look when I get home.

    2. wowfood

      Well

      They're streaming services which you can get on Linux with a bit of jiggerypokery. I can't remember the details off hand, but it was something to do with WINE and the windows version of firefox. There are other methods, this was the one I found simplest... I'm sure the instructions are out there somewhere.

    3. cambsukguy

      thus immediately explaining the low uptake of Linux for general use.

      The Netflix app is not available on my expensive Samsung so-called Smart TV although Lovefilm is.

      But, since I ignore the Smart part of the TV and use my laptop - wired or wireless - as the Netflix client, it is not a serious issue.

      Netflix also works perfectly on me and my sons' WinPhones.

      As for never having stuff except old crap, well, old is not always crap. If you didn't see Breaking Bad when it was transmitted, use the free month to binge the lot.

      Series like 24, Sons of Anarchy, Prison Break etc. are not considered crap my many either. You can also just watch Fawlty Towers and enjoy again and again - it really is much cheaper than buying box sets.

      I started watching Modern Family after finishing Breaking Bad and having rather too much time available - also not bad.

      And finally, Netflix made the rather good remake (although difficult to beat the original) House of Cards - definitely worth watching. I hear that Orange is the new black is good too.

      They also have a reasonable amount of movies although I think Lovefilm Instant has the larger selection. I see almost everything using an unlimited subscription at Cineworld so movies on TV matter less to me.

      To the person wondering why someone has two competing services... They each have different movies, if you wanted Kick-Ass, you might get Lovefilm but then you might not get Shooter or something that ends up on Netflix.

      These services are the last line before telly and subsequently much cheaper than Sky movies or any other PAYG system (unless you watch hardly anything of course).

  6. WonkoTheSane
    FAIL

    Prime without Lovefilm?

    Can't see any option for this.

  7. Joe K

    Nonsense

    You write as if this is a good thing, it isn't, its a forced price-hike on Prime.

    I've used Prime for years, and have bought far more off Amazon that i ever would have without it.

    Now that its being inflated by 30 quid, forcing a poor netflix ripoff on me that i have no need for, i have cancelled, and will be buying far far less than ever.

    And from the forums, i'm not alone.

  8. Ben Rose

    Backfire

    Based on conversations I have, this one may backfire.

    Throwing the kindle library into Prime...good move, worked well. You can share prime with other members too, so husband, wife, children etc. get the benefit.

    Throwing LoveFilm streaming in, great idea too. For £30 extra? No hope at all.

    Count me into the ever growing list of people who won't be renewing prime, the price hike is obscene and I have no real need to use the streaming service.

  9. Dropper

    Amazon or Netflix

    It's the same thing they did in the US a few years back and if you're not a Netflix subscriber it's worth looking at. Downsides are instead of $8 / month you pay $80 up front and that each content provider has a slightly different set of exclusives. So you might not get one of your favourite TV shows when the latest season is released to either Netflix or Amazon, depending on who offers the most for it.

    Personally I stuck with Netflix because it offered slightly more, doesn't come with in-built advertising for video-on-demand and other things. If I want a new movie I can still buy it through one of the many streaming services, such as Amazon Instant Video, and if I decide the content is crap I can simply cancel my subscription.

    I no longer pay for cable TV simply because I don't watch it. I can't be bothered with waiting a week for another episode and don't want to have the inconvenience of not being able to pause or rewind at will. I know you can do that DVRs and on-demand programming that most cable/satellite TV providers offer, but it costs far too much money. I won't pay $50 - $100 a month for more or less the same thing I can get with Netflix and Hulu Plus (or even the free version if you don't mind using a PC hooked up to the TV). Network channels are provided HD over the air so I can watch normal TV if I get curious about what it was like to watch TV like my grand parents did.

  10. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Cheap Lovefilm at an end?

    There's always been a good way of getting lovefilm cheaper than the billed £72. That is to keep it for a few months then cancel and then take up a special offer on cancelling. First time got three months for the price of one, then cancelled again and got two for a a fiver. That just over three months free in less than one year.

    If it's going to be bundled into Prime then presumably you won't be able to do this anymore.

  11. Darren Barratt

    Already got both

    How do I amalgamate the two services that I already have then?

  12. LordHighFixer

    ROKU

    Amazon Prime + instant video streams to my roku box and tele just fine. I have purchased enough stuff thru amazon to make the prime membership worth it, so the free streaming stuff is sauce for the goose.

    They have accomplished their goal with me. I shop there first, and buy my movies from them....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $79 in the US, £79 in the UK, which on the face of it, seems to offer similar services...is this just another straight price swap?

  14. DaveB

    60% rise for delivering stuff I don't think so

    I have been using prime since it started in the UK and buy more stuff because of it.

    I think its good value and would be happy to pay more, but not £80.

    I am not interested in LoveFilm poor platform coverage, poor content and not worth the monthly subscription.

    So have turned off my automatic renewal of the prime service, hopefully if enough people do this them Amazon will get the message that this is a stupid product bundle.

    1. JurassicPark

      Re: 60% rise for delivering stuff I don't think so

      Totally agree, I don't have a fast internet connection so no point in streaming films. I'm not paying another £20pa for a service I won't use, plus I'm totally against the automatic opt-in, as per NHS care.data.

  15. 080

    Prime

    Not interested in films but Prime does certainly encourage you to buy more things from Amazon, it's a lot easier to order nappies on line than pop down to Tesco to collect them. And when you share with another family member is becomes good value at £2 a month.

  16. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Makes the account problem worse

    Now the LoveFilm account is even more bound together with your Amazon login, you have to be even more careful. I really wish that they had an option to use separate login details for LoveFilm from your standard account - especially if you have 1-click ordering turned on.

    Having said that, I've gone from LoveFilm -> prime, to pick up the Year's service for £49 = £4.08/month! (spesh-off if you sign up before 26th Feb)

  17. JimmyPage

    Echoing other Prime *and* LOVEFILM subscribers ..

    I've emailed Amazon CS to see what happens to my LF account. Will they "know" that I am also a Prime subscriber, and change the fee to £0.00, or will they expect me to cancel my LF account. In which case what happens to my 8 year rental history ?

    Anyway, I'll also add to the view that both Lovefilm and Netflix are pretty lite on decent streaming content. Unlike their US counterparts. So clearly it's something to do with UK sensibilities.

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