updated 04:09 am EST, Fri February 21, 2014
Prime expanded in UK with Lovefilm rebranding, price hike
Amazon is re-branding its Lovefilm video-streaming service in the United Kingdom to Amazon Prime Instant Video, at the same time as combining it with the existing Prime delivery subscription and Kindle Lending Library. The move, which will see customers able to use both services for one payment, brings Amazon UK in line with what is offered to users in the United States.
The change will take place on February 26th, though Amazon will also take the opportunity to raise the price from Prime's existing £49 ($81) annual fee to £79 ($131) per year. Existing Prime customers and those paying the £49 price before the change-over will gain free access to Prime Instant Video, and subscribers to both Prime and Lovefilm will see the memberships changed to the new Amazon Prime on the same date, with an apparent £30 refund also touted. Prime Instant Video will also offer film rentals and purchases through the service, under the Amazon Instant Video branding, alongside its existing all-you-can-watch streaming product.
Existing users of Lovefilm on its £5.99 ($10) streaming subscription who do not wish to subscribe to Amazon Prime will still continue to be charged for the video service at the normal rate, with users able to pay for Prime Instant Video on its own without Prime. Subscribers to its Blu-Ray and DVD rental-by-post service will see no change in price.