As Amazon buy Lovefilm, we ask - where do you buy your films?

20 January 2011

lovefilm_logoPopular online movie rental concern Lovefilm will soon be entirely in the clutches of Amazon after the mack daddy of online entertainment retail agreed to gobble up the remaining 58% of the Lovefilm shares that they don’t already own. Amazon snaffled up the other 42% back in 2008.

The news comes a day after it was revealed that old-school ‘bricks & mortar’ movie retailer HMV are in the brown, sticky stuff, having recently announced the closure of stores along with reports that suppliers are facing pressure from insurance companies. In other words, there's not a lot of confidence in HMV right now.

hmvpa_468x374As a combination of mass-market adoption and online competition forces the cost of physical product into the floor, HMV is struggling to make the profits it once did. Music sections have been reduced to bestsellers, DVDs are piled high to sell cheap and Blu-ray titles will inevitably go the same way. HMV is being forced to rely on volume in order to make money these days, instead of selling titles at £15 a pop. There may still be hefty profit in a £30 game title, but it isn't HMV's core business.

HMV is quickly running out of  formats that generate high yields, but also running out of customers who care about buying physical product. It's difficult to see stores like HMV still in business in a year or two, never mind five or ten.

So while we note the strengthening of an online brand while prematurely signing the death warrant of a British institution, safe in the knowledge it'll happen at some point before we die, we thought we'd ask about where you lot usually buy your films these days - assuming you're buying them at all, of course. If HMV isn't getting your business, then who is? Let us know, popcorn gobblers.


  • Paul
    If it's a film that I enjoyed at the cinema then buy online - otherwise if it's a film I haven't seen in the cinema and it's been released on DVD then always download it to try first (example recently 'The Expendables' which was a total dog shit film)
  • MrRobin
    I am a Lovefilm member. I pay £4 a month for a couple of BluRay rentals. Usually that's all I have time for so 2 is enough. I very rarely buy films since I usually only watch it once and then it sits there gathering dust. The quality of BluRays is such that it's worth paying for a postal rental service, rather than downloading rips.
  • Phil
    I rent blu-rays via lovefilm. Can't see the point in spending £15 on them. They'll only sit on a shelf like my dvd collection. Also using lovefilms streaming via my Sony S370 Bluray player - very interesting service but they they do need more modern blockbuster films for it to really take off.
  • Mark C.
    Though I do buy a lot online, as Amazon is generally more convenient and cheaper for those times I know specifically what DVD or Blu-ray I want to buy, if HMV closes I'll really miss it for those times where I just want to pop in on the way home on Friday night, browse around till something inspires me, then leave with a heap of films I'd never heard of before, to watch over the weekend. Browsing for films on the intenet will never quite be the same as that, and makes it far less likely you'll find these forgotten gems, as online browsing is far more susceptible to the retailer or publisher only letting you see what they want to shift that week.
  • Dick
    Free trial at lovefilm. Get films, rip to harddrive, send back the same day to maximise number of films received during free trial. Watch them at leisure over next few months. Delete if crap, keep if I want to watch again. Do another free trial when finished. If I really enjoyed it, then buy DVD when it is £3 or less. Same at blinkbox. When they have a £10 free bonus, set up 20 or so accounts, buy the films using the credit, watch the first few seconds to input the correct username and password, then store until I want to watch it. Setup more accounts and download more at next free trial period.
  • Russell
    I use Love Film, both for postal DVDs and streaming, although we've had a lot of issues with the streaming so far. Occasionally buy dvds from play/amazon if it's something I'v ereally enjoyed and would watch again.
  • hippy
    i have got a couple of hundred dvd's sitting about my shelves atm. they seem to keep me entertained. I bought some of them at hmv and one at tower records for like £17.99 lol. But now i look on play for thier £3 dvd's and amazon. now and again ill look in my local blockbusters store for something cheap to buy.
  • Deejay
    Blu-rays at £25 a pop? Thats where HMV are going wrong. Overpriced tat.
  • Arrr
    Tend to "try before buy" by downloading rips via private torrent sites. If it's a decent film, which isn't that many this year TBH, I'll buy the blueray from Amazon or Play
  • Kevin
    When their prices are massively higher than even their own online store you don't need to wonder what is going wrong. Simply overpriced. Just because you don't have the shops next to each other like you used to it doesn't mean you can screw over customers. I personally think HMV would be better off just going online only and fighting on that basis.

What do you think?

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