I’ve been a member of LoveFilm for a few years now and have loved it, the whole principal of sending and receiving discs in the post was brilliant and with no late fee’s who could turn their nose up – especially since their main competition back then was Blackbuster which was an absolute fortune – but while LoveFilm repaired broken discs the world changed and it got left behined.
I’ve written a few times in the past about things I dislike about LoveFilm – the main one being that they have a dispute with Universal so newer (2009+) Universal films just aren’t available for rent (and there is no end in sight for this dispute).
They introduced what is called “LoveFilm Instant” while it makes sense – it fails as a service for one reason and one reason alone – the quality is appauling – here’s a comparison between LoveFilm and NetFlix:
The two pictures (top is LoveFilm, bottom is Netflix) are distinctively different – with a lot more definition and colour – it was difficult to get the exact scene as the Netflix version was 5 minutes longer and so the scenes were actually in different places.
BT has a commitment in the UK to provide super fast fibre optic broadband in Britain and in the summer of 2012 will double it’s speeds from 40mb\s to 80mb\s – this could very well be the end of optical disc – and the introduction of high-bitrate High Definition streaming (while sure, the infrastructure involved behind this to do this for everyone isn’t as “feasible” it’s a step in the right direction).
While the Amazon takeover might push it some traffic and a slight gain in customers I think Netflix has hit the UK market hard and with newer content being introduced LoveFilm might just find it too difficult to get back on it’s feet.