Amazon Instant Video, Lovefilm users to help judge shows
Amazon is allowing its customers to view new television shows on its streaming services in the US and the UK, in order to decide which to create into a full series. The 14 pilot shows, created by subsidiary Amazon Studios, can be watched on Amazon Instant Video and Lovefilm, with the retailer hoping to use viewer comments to influence its choice of which shows get a full 13-episode season commission.
Amazon's Lovefilm gains more Warner Bros programming
Lovefilm has signed an agreement with Warner Bros International TV Distribution, adding more content to its on-demand roster. The Amazon-owned British subscription streaming service will now offer a number of extra TV series, including seasons one to seven of The West Wing, all nine seasons of One Tree Hill, all seasons of Nip Tuck, and episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
British streaming service to also show Amazon Studio pilots
Amazon's Lovefilm service in the UK has signed a deal with BBC Worldwide to continue offering BBC content to its customers through Lovefilm Instant. The announcement comes at the same time as the Lovefilm app reaches Sony Bravia televisions, as well as news that it will also stream 11 original TV series test pilots from Amazon Studios.
Canada receives French-language video channel on console
Microsoft has added more apps to the Xbox 360 game console's already sizeable catalog, with an update that covers North America and parts of Europe. The key app additions this time lie in the US, where gamers will be able to watch original content from Blip.TV, as well as access the wide catalog available to Rhapsody users.
Job listings for 100 staff appear on LinkedIn
Amazon has opened its digital media development center in the UK today, in an effort to improve its online properties. Based in London's newly developed Tech City center, the company seeks to hire 100 employees to further development in its digital media services, such as streaming services Lovefilm and Pushbutton, and is likely to be on the hunt for more in the future.
Reaches million milestone after seven months
Movie streaming service Netflix has reached one million subscribers in the UK and Ireland. The landmark figure took just over seven months to reach, with customers being charged £6 ($10) per month for the streaming-only service, despite competition from the already-established postal and streaming-based rental service LoveFilm.
Streaming rental service offering Fox TV catalog to users
Amazon's UK-based Lovefilm has signed a multi-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox. The agreement will allow the streaming rental service to play Twentieth Century Fox films and TV series to it's users, including early seasons of Sons of Anarchy as well as all seasons of 24, Prison Break, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and spin-off Angel.
Lovefilm to stream Universal Pictures films in the UK
Lovefilm has signed a multi-year agreement with NBC Universal to stream Universal Pictures films to its Lovefilm Instant users. The addition of Universal extends the roster of films that currently includes movies from Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Entertainment One, and Studio Canal. The streaming agreement would help the Amazon-owned movie rental company fight off Netflix, which launched in the UK in January.
Lovefilm streaming service overtakes DVD by mail
UK-based streaming service provider Lovefilm has just revealed that its streaming service has surpassed its combined mail rentals of DVD, Blu-ray, and games. The company operates throughout Europe and is the biggest, with more than two million members. In a 12-month period, streaming users grew four-fold, while rental-by-mail users increased by only 25 percent in the same period.
BSkyB tries Internet TV to catch other viewers
Satellite TV provider BSkyB threw itself into contention with Internet video providers on Wednesday through its own pure Internet TV service. Called Now TV, it will supply on-demand movies, sports, and other forms of entertainment both to computers as well as game systems, smartphones, and tablets. The aim was to catch the 13 million UK residents who didn't have traditional paid TV, CEO Jeremy Darroch said at The Guardian's Changing Media Summit.
Good news for BSkyB, deadline extended to July
UK satellite TV service BSkyB was given a reprieve as the Competition Commission pushed back its deadline on ruling that BSkyB's deals with six major Hollywood studios were uncompetitive, according to The Guardian. The government watchdog extended the date of its final ruling to July because it has added Netflix and LoveFilm to its investigation. Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland in January, while LoveFilm recently added a streaming service to its rent-by-mail service.
Lovefilm to begin streaming ABC TV show seasons
Online UK movie service Lovefilm has signed a deal with Disney UK to bring a library of TV series from ABC Studios to its subscribers. Branded as ABC TV On Demand, the portal will give members access to full seasons of shows such as Lost, Castle, Desperate Housewives, and more. Shows will air as full seasons soon before the next one airs on UK paid or free TV networks.
Deal includes both TV shows and movies.
Amazon's UK-based Lovefilm has closed a deal with Sony Pictures Television. The arrangement will give subscribers to the media rental and downloading service exclusive streamed access to Sony's current TV series as well as past shows. Also included will be future movie releases from Sony.
Microsoft outlines launch plans for X360 live TV
In sync with the fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft has provided a listing of TV providers that will be ready to go this week. Along with existing access to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, the December 6 update will also bring EPIX authenticated video in the US, Lovefilm in the UK, MediaSet's Premium Play in Italy, Sky Go in Austria and Germany, Telefonica España's Movistar Imagenio, and MSNBC's Today in the US.
Lovefilm to move to Silverlight, drop Flash
UK DVD and streaming video outfit Lovefilm just announced that it will move from Flash-based streaming to Microsoft's Silverlight. The move was prompted by movie studios, as they believed Silverlight offers greater security in the fight against piracy. The studios were apparently fairly adamant, threatening to pull their movies if the change wasn't made.
Netflix coming to the UK, Ireland next year
Netflix has finally confirmed its rumored plans to offer its streaming video service in the UK and Ireland. It's due to arrive in both territories early in 2012 for a set monthly price, like it does in North America, though details weren't revealed. The company said it will release price info, content partners, and supported devices closer to the launch date.
Xbox 360 live TV goes available worldwide
Microsoft as repeatedly rumored has kicked off its Xbox 360 live TV option. Cable and fiber TV providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, as well as individual TV stations such as Bravo, Epix, HBO, and SyFy, are all promising apps for the new Xbox Dashboard to watch TV online. Most if not all of the services will require that viewers authenticate to get access and will still need to have traditional TV.
Xbox 360 to bring TV content as soon as next week
The latest update in Microsoft's bid to bring TV content to Xbox 360 Live has the new content arriving on its game console subscription service as early as next week. Microsoft is engaged in talks on the matter with many content providers and cable companies, with Comcast and Verizon chief among them. A source who couldn't speak publicly revealed these details.
May be looking to add UI to more digital devices
Amazon has acquired UK-based Push Button Holdings. Pushbutton provides interactive apps that run on multiple platforms including IPTV, TVs, tablets, game consoles, and satellite and cable set-tops. Terms of the deal weren't given out.
Success in Canada paves way for expansion
In December, Netflix management indicated that, pending a successful entry into the Canadian market, it would push forward with international expansion outside North America. The company's foray into Canada has been very successful and, accordingly, the company appears to be on a hiring spree in preparation for moving across the Atlantic. Reports out of Netflix's Los Gatos, California HQ indicate that the company recently has posted several senior managerial positions specifically for Europe and is looking for individuals fluent in European languages.
Tesco buys 80 percent share in Blinkbox
UK-based grocery store chain Tesco has just bought a majority stake in movie streaming service Blinkbox. Tesco now owns 80 percent of the company, having purchased shares from Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners for an undisclosed amount. The service will compete with Lovefilm, another streaming service, which also incidentally rents physical DVDs and Blu-rays in Tesco stores.
Amazon completes takeover of Lovefilm
Amazon on Thursday took control of Lovefilm in a deeper drive into movie rentals. Having already taken a minority stake, it planned to buy the remain shares in the European service. The two companies cast it as an expansion of Amazon VOD into Europe.
Lovefilm to bring movie, TV show streaming to PS3
UK PS3 owners will soon be able to stream movie content in the UK through a service called Lovefilm. Similar to Netflix, the monthly subscription service is already offered to computer users, and those with a monthly plan that costs at least the equivalent of $9.50 just need to download software for their PS3 and start watching when the PS3 service goes live. Lovefilm also offers a gaming service where discs are delivered by mail, though this service will not grant PS3 movie streaming access.