Amazon Kills Movie DVDs in UK & Germany by Closing Lovefilm
Amazon announced the closure of its DVD by mail rental service in the U.K. and Germany called Lovefilm. For those in the U.S., the title sounds a bit ominous, but it was a Netflix competitor, not a DVD service catering seedy flicks to Adults.
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“Over the last few years we’ve seen a decreasing demand for DVD and Blu-ray rental as customers increasingly move to streaming,” Amazon said in a statement. The company stated the service would cease to operate on October 31, 2017.
Acquired by Amazon in 2011, and initially build from a series of mergers of competing services operating in Europe, at its high point, Lovefilm had about 2 million subscribers with over 70,000 titles for rent. This total included standard DVD, Blu-Ray, and Game discs.
At one time the company served five European countries, but as Amazon expanded its digital offerings in Europe, it scaled back on the DVD by post businesses to only serve the U.K. and Germany.
IS THE END OF DVD NEAR? NETFLIX DVD SUBSCRIPTIONS DWINDLING TOO
Netflix being the global competitor to Amazon Streaming services also is struggling with maintaining a DVD subscription base. In the U.S., at the end of March 2017, Netflix reported 3.8 million paid DVD subscriptions. That is down nearly a million from the year before.
In contrast, Netflix had 49 million U.S. streaming subscribers and 45 million streaming international subscribers.
It is hard to imagine that Netflix will stop the bleeding on DVD rentals and will have to consider closing that business as well.
OPPORTUNITY FOR SMALL BUSINESS?
With Lovefilm out of business later in the year and Netflix subscriptions for DVD rentals dwindling, is there a growth market for used DVDs?
Larger companies such as Amazon and Netflix need scale, but small businesses often can find niche markets to serve.
Selling used DVDs is not new, but there could be a surge in the DVD and Blu-Ray business with rental media exiting the segment.
One just has to look at the first eBay business that gained over 5 million feedbacks. MusicMagpie in the U.K. started in 2007 but expanded globally with eBay sales. It is now the largest eBay seller!
Of course, they are no longer a small business with over 1000 employees. But is there a niche market within DVDs a small business could find?
Amazon may have killed the DVD in the U.K, and Netflix may not be far behind in the U.S., but when big business exits markets, entrepreneurs may find new opportunities.
Have you ever been able to find a niche opportunity because a significant competitor exited the market? Let us know below. We love to hear your story.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.
There’s still Cinema Paradiso in the U.K. that basically offer the same service, if not better.
Thanks for the comment, I hadn’t heard of Cinema Paradiso before.
This is going to be great news for them, as with the right marketing they could pick up the die hard movie fans that will miss the physical side of Love Film.
I guess only time will tell as to whether they will survive or will more people move to streaming as internet speeds get better.